Thursday 16 May 2024

a morning cup of tea

Thursday morning and I'm sat at my desk with my morning cup of tea. Just had a call from my daughter, Tash. Twins are doing well, and she sounds happy but exhausted. They're both now out of their incubators and in cots in her room with her. Harry is feeding well, Charlie still is still struggling to take to the bottle so has the assistance of a feeding tube.

She tells me that once he's past this and coping with a bottle like his brother they they'll be coming home. A photo she sent me from this morning:

The reason for her exhaustion is that Harry is currently on three hour feeds, whereas Charlie is every two hours, and she's now doing all their feeds herself. I told her a sleep pattern like that was good training for long distance solo cruising in the UK. I think, sometimes, my sense of humour leaves her feeling bemused, rather than amused, but I like to think it at least shows I care.

The above photo was from Sunday, when I raced the Laser. It was a bit of a drift and the course lacked a decent beat which was frustrating, although in defence of the race committee, it would've been hard to set given the conditions.

However, had a good race at South Cerney last night with Amanda and the Albacore. An impressive 33 boats turned out on the starting line, which was exceptionally port biased; an unfortunate but necessary compromise as they're having to run the racing from the committee hut on the shore at the moment, as a pair of nesting coots have taken up residence in the Club's shiny new committee boat.

We started at the favoured end, close to the pin, furthest away from the shore, where it was just about possible to edge over the line on starboard if the wind didn't shift against you. We were lucky, it didn't, and we timed it sweetly, crossing the line and moving nicely just as the final gun cleared the start.

photo: camilla g

For reasons I can't fathom, most of the fleet chose to start mid way down or further to other end of the line, heaping themselves upon each other and spoiling each others' air. From our own end of the line, the opening leg to the first mark was a simple windward fetch after we tacked early on to port as soon as the solitary Aero and Laser above us allowed.

Now in the dirty air to our lee, neither of them felt the lift we enjoyed about a dozen boat lengths or so out from the mark, and both fell away to leeward, the Aero overhauling and taking the wind from the Laser behind us.

photo: sophie d

We rounded the mark cleanly, settling onto a starboard biased beat to the next buoy, meanwhile astern the Merlin came barging in on port to the Aero's starboard, upsetting the Aero's intention to do the same. We left them to their squabbles and threats of protest and sailed away into clean air, keeping our early won lead for the rest of the race and eventually finished almost three minutes ahead of the nearest boat, beating two Aeros into second and third place respectively by more than a minute even after correcting our times for handicap.

More than that, the sky was blue, the sun was warm, with enough wind to keep us moving, shifty enough to make the race challenging. It was a lovely evening, and very nice to be sailing in shorts and tee-shirt again.

Nikki and I both have next week booked off work. I'm hoping to go sailing. Without considering the forecast, I'm thinking of heading out to Falmouth, spending a day or three in Falmouth town and around the Fal and the bay, then making our way slowly back to Plymouth, via Fowey and, perhaps Mevagissey. 

Or we could go east to Dartmouth, and do the same but heading back west. It would be nice to see Brixham again.

Of course, if the babies do come home, that might shoot all plans in the foot. I'm not sure why they'd need me around, I'm just a granddad after all, but I'm not sure their Nan (to whom I happen to be married) will see things that way if (when) I suggest that maybe I just go sailing with Dad instead if she doesn't want to come.

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