Monday 21 December 2020

Laser: selfie sticks

I'm not especially big on "selfies". Just the term itself makes me cringe a little inside, and besides which, there are far prettier things to be pointing my camera at that my ugly mug.

But, it has to be said, the boom of my Laser does make for an absolutely splendid "selfie stick".

It was, at times, quite lively out on the water today. The weather is, I guess, the tale end of some very heavy wind that came through on Friday and Saturday. 

The 2020 racing season, such as it was, finished at South Cerney last Sunday, but as there were a few of us out on the water, we entertained ourselves with a series of single lap sprints across a windward / leeward course. Lots of starting practice, and if things went too wrong, not so long to wait until you could reset and try again.

I think I won as many as I lost. It has to be said though that some I lost particularly badly, and I failed to even make the start for a couple of them. But it was just for fun.

And it was good to be out on the water. There is actually a final race scheduled for the Monday after Christmas, and I shall certainly be there, hopefully with Amanda and the Albacore. However, I might try and sneak down again for a play on Boxing Day, unless the weather is especially dull.

Wednesday 16 December 2020

attention seeking

Yesterday evening. If dogs could talk, I think she'd be saying leave the damned guitars alone and pay some attention to me please. 

It's not as if she doesn't get plenty of attention. But attention seeking is their speciality. I don't know who they get it from.

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Laser: dunked and recovered


I found the clip around the photo in the previous post was too amusing not to actually post up here for posterity. The sun was bright on Saturday, but the water was definitely a bit chilly.

I'm really very happy with the new GoPro. Given that most of my photos are, these days, taken on my phone simply because it's always in my pocket, I suspect that will continue. But the GoPro has a 20mb sensor, and it's pretty simple to extract stills from any interesting clips. I'm going to have fun with it, I think.

After Saturday's playing around, I had a great morning's racing on Sunday. The Albacore's jib halyard is currently broken and the forecast was blustery, so I put the radial on the Laser and took that out. 

When I first got to the lake in the morning it was still pretty quite; it felt a bit silly rigging the smaller sail and I found myself wishing I'd brought the larger standard sail with me. But it picked up as we were about to launch, just as forecast, and I soon found myself grateful I'd deprived myself of the choice and left the bigger sail at home.

I am definitely not in shape. I was also overdressed; having got quite chilled the day before I put some extra layers on, including a waterproof and a thermal spray top over my wetsuit, but whilst I therefore kept quite warm, moving with all that bulk was exhausting.

And the Laser really does demand you keep moving.

Pleased with the results however. A 6th place in the first race, which I guess is respectable enough, and a 2nd place in the second one. I actually had a much worse start in the second race, but got lucky when there was a bit of a pileup at the leeward mark amongst the leading boats in the second half, which let me close the gap and slip through.

Saturday 12 December 2020

Making a splash


I have a new toy. Finally gave in and got myself a GoPro as an early Christmas present. I know you're supposed to buy Christmas presents for other people, but, well, you know how it is. Took it out on the lake this morning, and am entertaining myself by watching through the hour of footage it captured.

Some bits are more entertaining than others.

House of the Rising Sun


I've had a very enjoyable Saturday morning blasting about the lake with my Laser. No racing, no agenda, nothing organised, just took the chance of a spot of nice weather and a bit of free time; Nikki asked me to drop her and her mum off in town to do a bit of Christmas shopping, so I figured if she was going out I wouldn't be missed.

I'll be racing tomorrow morning as usual, so let's hope I haven't worn myself out today.

Before I left for the lake this morning though, I had a very pleasant twenty minutes or so with my morning cup of tea and the piano. I've never tried accompanying myself on the piano before, but I obviously knew the chords to this one as Mum taught be to play it on the guitar when I was about six, so I thought why not? 

Wednesday 9 December 2020

Geneva: in conclusion


And so in summary, two weeks of harbour hopping across Greece reduced down to a few simple metrics. Even with the photos now posted, without accompanying dialogue I guess it loses some of the poetry of the trip. But I think over a month on now, I have to accept I've missed the opportunity to properly write it up.

I've noticed that's a frequent theme on this site, following any protracted length of time away. I should learn to journal these things as I go; I often spend too much time running around on my return having to make up for the time I've spent away to actually have the time to properly describe where I've been and what I've been up to. And that's an opportunity lost.

So Dad and I flew to Greece where we met our friend Mark, who had been kicking around enjoying his retirement aboard "Geneva", a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 389 he'd had on charter for most of the summer. We pottered around in the Ionian for a few days until another friend Vernon joined us, then met up with a fleet of five other yachts led by Rich, the guy who had organised the Athens trip. 

We then spent the next ten days sailing east roughly in the direction of Athens, stopping at various harbours each night, sometimes together, sometimes on our own, transited the Corinth Canal in convoy and finally delivered the boats to Athens.

The weather was amazing. We swum most days, and drank every night. Made good friends, sailed beneath the mountains and sky with them, and did our level best to drink each other under the table when the sailing was done.

Actually, on that last point I do exaggerate. But only a little.

And so, reduced to the final bones, in summary:

14 nights aboard
11 harbours visited
5 bays swum (10/12 updated - I'd overlooked Parga)
1 bridge passed
2 canals transited
426.94 nm sailed
82 hours 48 minutes underway
1662 photographs taken