After a break of nearly ten years it is time to get another boat. The last time we were afloat it was on a narrowboat, a 57" beauty built by Sagar Marine, who now appear to concentrate on the increasingly poplular Dutch Barges. We lived on it and sailed it regularly for two years. I suppose I could write a small book on that experience, let alone the rest of my odd life. Before that, we had a little cruising yacht in the Bristol Channel - not something I would recommend; anything under 30 foot in that place is going to be tossed about like an empty crisp packet. You have the second highest tidal rise and fall in the world, fast tidal streams and very severe weather at times. Sailors all have stories that they would rather be private about - usually something very stupid they did that resulted in a near catastrophe. I am no exception and, I shall keep it to myself for the time being. All I will say is that on another occasion we experienced a savage storm whilst moored up and we had a terrifying time on our pontoon, trying to tie down the boat to a pontoon that was swishing about like a TRex with it's tail on fire, and preventing the boat from bashing itself to pieces. It was a weekend many will not forget. We got off with a couple of hundred pounds worth of damage. Many skippers lost their boats.
But back to the present. I am starting to like the learning curve, the process by which I shall re-learn all the old skills, and some new ones, and by which we shall eventually purchase another sailing boat. Since we last sailed, GPS has become more or less standard; indeed I believe you can even get it on a phone. Life jacket technology has improved and VHF has undergone a massive and clever upgrade to DSC. Here, for the geeks who read the blog, is a very useful little video about DSC:
That's all for now, I am off to brush up on my phonetic alphabet and read up on the VHF course syllabus.