susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Last Post - or is it?

Yesterday - Monday 25 September - J and I scrubbed Fortune down, removed a few more things, and tidied up.

In the evening we went to Somerville, Mass, north of Boston, to a house concert. Where Jim Payne and Fergus O'Byrne from Newfoundland are playing. J wears his Newfoundland teeshirt. There is a Newfoundland flag outside the house. And I trace our journey against the map pinned to a door inside. The names of the towns and Jim and Fergus's songs fill my head with picture clips of our summer sail.

Today, Tuesday, I have to say goodbye to J's mom, and finally to J, as he drops me off at Providence station, where we first met four months ago. We hug. And hug again.

'Goodbye, till next time,' he says.

Yes, next time, of course.

I catch a train back to New York, then back to New Jersey, to stay with my brother and sister-in-law, till I catch a plane to London this coming Monday. My brother takes me to see the Philadelphia Flyers ice hockey. Crowds and roaring noise and bright bright lights. It's been a summer of contrasts.

Three nights in a row

Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.

J's mom will be 96 at the end of this month. It's a struggle to keep up with her. She's a great drinking buddy - two glasses of wine each, and we're well away. J removes our glasses - 'Refill, J?' I ask. He growls. The glasses don't return.

She tells me stories of her life and her very extensive family. I get a bit muddled - and this is during the daytime - and expect to be tested on the family tree any moment. It is an enormous pleasure to sit talking with her, sitting in the covered porch facing the bay and Fortune, wind and rain and sun.

On Saturday night, one of her grandsons and family come for supper - grilled fish they have caught. I play Timberrr with Teddy, a great grandson, who already at 12 as his own boat and 40hp outboard, lucky chap.

Twinkle, twinkle ...

'Am I the star of your blog?' J asks in his usual self-effacing manner.

I give him a look.

'Well,' I reply after a moment to ponder a tactful response, quickly discarded in favour of the truth. 'I did try to elbow you into the sidelines, but that obviously didn't work, so (sigh) I suppose you must be.'

He smirks, pleased

He hasn't read it yet.

Come in Fortune, your time is up

We leave Cuttyhunk on Friday, and although there is wind, we motor gently across the flat sea in the sunshine. I am at the helm all day - just happy for this last bit of the trip to sit there. We turn into the entrance to Narragansett Bay and by 4 oclock in the afternoon, as the clouds start to gather for the forecast wind and rain for tomorrow, we pick up the mooring off J's mother's house, load the dinghy and J rows us to the beach.

Fortune is salt-encrusted, her hull streaked with the grime of months, her sails tucked away in their covers, and for the moment, at rest on her tether.

For the time being, at least, I turn back into a land creature ...

Cuttyhunk, Friday 22nd

Took myself off for a row round the pond this morning.

Dawn is a low red glow, 2 boats are already leaving, black against the sky. I row to the neck, tie the dinghy to a rock, cross the neck - and there is the ocean, waves rushing noisily on to the shore. I take off my teeshirt and trousers and stand in the water, with the undertow pulling the sand from under my feet. It's my last swim, in cold cold water.

Later, I tie up at the wharf and ask a fisherman if I can buy coffee. I can't help but tell him how beautiful his island is and it's the last day of my summer sailing and trying not to cry and biting my wobbly upper lip. But he's very polite and agrees with me about Cuttyhunk, and points me back to the store up the road for coffee.

At the top of the hill is a plaque to the unknown Indian, companion to Bartholomew Gosnold, who founded this English colony in 1602. This tiny town is called Gosnold. I am struck by the wording - Indian is not now used - then notice the plaque is dated 1972.

They use golf carts to get around, but really everywhere is just a short walk away. A notice tells me there are 35 people resident here in winter, and 400 in summer. All this not counting the boatfuls of sailors who fill the pond and the jetties. I would like to spend a winter here.

Cuttyhunk, still Thursday

This is a wondrous little island with a narrow shallow entrance channel into a pond filled with now-empty moorings, and a couple of necks to further bits of island. We anchor - a mooring is $40/day, and we're feeling mean after $3/foot. The dinghy is still pumped up and towing astern; J and I rush ashore to get lobster and butter and Viennese bread (soft white fat baguette). The seafood is on the dock, the rest up the winding main street - lane, really - at the little store. It's marked with a brightly painted stone - 'Market' - and is a large wooden shed behind another shed. But they don't take credit cards, so I put the tomatoes back and wander sadly down the street. It's our last day and night, the store is just about to shut. J is coming to meet me with a bag of lobsters, and he has real money, but not much of it, so we go back and negotiate for a small stick of butter, couple of toms, bit of bread.

I'm tired and have very mixed feelings about the end of the journey, and say I shall be glad to get to the end: 'Everything's such a struggle' - meaning now I can't use a card and my money's back on the boat, which would have meant dinghying back and forwards, and the shop's just about to shut, so I'd be too late. But we've got the stuff, so the shop can shut and we can have supper.

J cooks the lobsters, tipping them from the bag into boiling water, so I can't give them names and release them on the quiet. The lid goes on and I eat bread and sesame oil till they're ready. Twenty minutes later J puts a now-scarlet alien (soo like the film) on my plate - never had a whole one before. It's shell is so hard, I can't remove the tail, so J pulls it off. I attack the claws with a hammer, and prod bits of lobster out of its carapace. The butter has been melted, the bread is fresh and tears apart. Chins and teeshirt fronts are greasy, and table manners - what are table manners? I finish the last of my Screech. I have that horrible end of holiday feeling - now I want it to go on and on. Contrary Mary.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Thursday 21 Sept

We left Provincetown early this morning, heading across to the Cape Cod Canal, crossing our outward course again. It was windy from the Northwest, about 15-20 knots with gusts, overcast, some whitecaps. At last the wind had decided to work with us, so under all sail we charged across the lumpy sea. I have to wedge my legs against the coamings to stay behind the wheel. By the time we get to the Canal, the sun has come out, and we transit the Canal under power, while I make pancakes with bacon and syrup.

In Buzzard's Bay, it's now really hot, sails up again, and instead of going behind Scraggy Neck, as on our way out, we decide to push on for Cuttyhunk Island, 20 miles further down the Bay. When we left in June, it was so foggy in the Bay, I saw nothing. Now I can see the seaward chain of islands to port and the mainland to starboard, the latter edged with large expensive seaview houses - had no idea it was so built up. We made about 50 comfortable miles - what a pleasure not to have the engine running.

Oh dear, a few more notes

The notebook I write in before transferring to here is becoming more than a little illegible. I have used up all my pens and pencil is rubbing itself out. And then I forget to take the notepad with me, in the excitement of a new place, a new internet connection. Which is why I have some gaps.

Just to say: Monhegan Island is in Penobscot Bay. 75 miles to: Isle of Shoals is actually ISLES of Shoals - and not because they're particularly shallow, but because of the erstwhile shoals of cod (same old story)first publicised by Capt John Smith (of Pocahontas fame - she's buried in Gravesend, Kent, UK as it happens, having ended her life there as a married Englishwoman. Somewhere there is a woodcut engraving of her in post-Elizabethan costume, looking well corsetted and beruffed.)

From I of S to Provincetown is 65 miles - think I've already said this, but this connection is slow, and I cant be bothered to look back. Provincetown, while not in its crowded, lively summer glory, nevertheless provides bright interest, lots of little colourful boutique shops, and even out of season, one or two restaurants. J and I go to one outdoors, with nearby patio heaters (oh, the environment), where he has chicken linguini, and I have particularly scrumptious swordfish (oh, the marine environment). May I deeply recommend the Wired Puppy Cafe - great range of coffees and teas (Ancient Lotus), bit expensive, but good - and free access to the internet. Stood there for 2 hours in all - no chairs, customers might stay too long hahaha.

Provincetown nestles in the upper hook of Cape Cod, and is suitably phallicly represented by a massively tall tower emerging from richly verdant bushes. Highly recommended place, even though there was no water taxi - out of season - and I threatened J with beastly retribution if he slopped water into the dinghy and soaked me on our way to shore for supper. I stepped ashore completely dry ...

Mariners in distress

Boaters are, more often than not, a friendly crowd. People wave to each other as they pass. Even the fishermen (and one solo fisherwoman)raise a busy hand as they dart here and there among the pot markers.

So, when I spot someone perched in the bows of a passing sailing giving us a wave, I wave back. Obviously, he didn't see me, because he waves again, a bit more vigorously. Not wishing to disappoint, I stand up and wave one arm above my head. Maybe he still hasn't seen me, because now he has something - a hat? - in one hand, waving his arm way up, way down, against the background of the genoa. And he keeps on waving. The penny drops eventually. We motor across the still sea towards them.

'Have you any water?' There are two men on board, out of Long Island, engine gone, four nights drifting in these light winds across the Gulf of Maine, bound eastwards. We have a fellow feeling, having done Canso on the northern tip of Nova Scotia, to Halifax NS under similar circumstances. So we hand over a couple of gallon jugs and ask if we can do anything else.

'Do you smoke?' For once, I am sad to say no. They have 12 miles to go, which could easily take the rest of the day, but decide they will carry on - no tow, no radio for assistance from us. As we leave them astern, sails barely drawing, I hope - and it's likely - their journey has a safe conclusion. I treasure this camaraderie at sea.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wednesday ?19/20 Sept - Wednesday, anyway

Sorry about the dates, folks.

We're in Provincetown, Mass, US. Moored in the harbour. Water taxi not running. Pumped up the dinghy and motored ashore, so that J could have some privacy and peace and quiet to wash the body beautiful without the barking crew whining at him.

After leaving Bah! Harbour, we went to delicious Duck Harbour, on the Isle au Haut, about 35 miles to the west. Got in just before sunset - Ra, the Sun God, in his round red disk, sank from a clear sky into a clear sea, leaving us at anchor and to peace and quiet for the night.

The next morning, we motored to Monhegan Island, again 35 miles or so westward round the Gulf of Maine. With its close neighbour, smaller Manana Island, they have a narrow channel between them with moorings. We picked up a buoy - booee - with a great view of both islands, one inhabited, one not, rising steeply from the sea.

We have a long trip the next day, and the alarm goes at 4.45. Still dark, with the stars and a tiny crescent moon riding high. All it needs is to haul in the line from the buoy, and we're off, the dawn starting to break behind us.

It's 75 miles to our next destination - the Isle of Shoals - really a group of islands, again to the west. It's back to steering hour on hour off, and we approach as the sun is setting again. Where Monhegan was attractive, this, despite Captain Smith extolling its virtues in 1614 as a great place for a new colony, its current architectural style reminded me of Alcatraz. New colony, old boy? Stuck out in the middle of nowhere? Gotta be kidding, mate. A couple of places of interest ashore - which we didnt do - are a headland where a lady got swept to her death out to sea, and a cave where a mother stabbed her 2 crying children, so the indians didnt kill them. Hmm. Rocks and hard places come to mind.

But it's up again at 4.45 for another, now I have to admit tedious stint, this one of 65 miles to Provincetown, reached on Tuesday 19 (I think), yesterday, as the sun is setting. As it's a gay old place, obviously I shall be checking out the girls here.

As I got ashore a couple of hours ago, an elderly couple were walking in front of me. The wife stopped, behind her husband, to light a fag. 'Why do you stop walking, when I'm talking to you?' grizzled the husband, as I passed. 'Because you never listen to me, that's why,' was the terse response. Been married a loooong time. Cracked up.


'This is a private wharf. You can't stay here.'

Now, you've just spent over 26 hours in a pounding sea, steering one hour on, one hour off, over 120 miles, and it's now 8 in the morning Eastern Delight Time; you've been hunted down through the fog by a MASSIVE cruise ship (2000 - ah - souls a board) honking as it emerges from the gloom right up yer butt, played dodgem with the rocks, islands, darting fishing boats and zillions of lobster pot markers dancing colourfully over the limpid sea; you've rung the BH HM who tells you to go starboard side to, by the four-masted schooner; you're both feeling just a touch wearied. Under these circs, the last thing you need, frankly, is a short fat gofor telling you to bugger off, just as the alien crew, who hasn't been cleared by scary immigration, has jumped onto the pontoon, and is making the lines fast right where we assumed we had been told.

J stomped off in a rage, and I was left to the delights of two self-righteous boys on said schooner, again telling us what we now knew: 'This is a private wh..' - I KNOW, I KNOW!

The upshot is, we had mistaken the wharf for the next one up - dear oh dear, what crime to hover five minutes on a private wharf. Feeling like lepers, we slunk off. Though they might have had a point. We were definitely unclean...

But that wasn't all. Once moored at the public wharf, we were told to move again. To the next wharf. To make room for a 120 foot yacht due in. We were assured this new, and phew, final move, would give us a better place. I had wondered why the pontoon (slip) was in three pieces. I was soon to find out. The water/tide/current/wake swirled round and round eternally, tipping the pontoon pieces like a switchback ride, and forcing the boat lines and cleats to strain and heave continually, day and night. Hmm. AND we had to stump up $3 per foot for this peaceful mooring, with the only facility being water (provide your own hose), oh yes, and electricity, which we didn't need. So, no showers, no restrooms. So we used the sea toilet. So, good.

But that wasn't all. We decided to find the YMCA for showers and the nearby laundry for our by now incredibly filthy selves and clothes. The laundry was easy - in with everything, whites, coloureds, knickers and tea towels, into a giant industrial machine. And then off to the icecream shop for J to sink his teeth into an enormous frozen something. When I asked for a drink of tap water, the cheery girl behind the counter denied all knowledge of the English language and pointed to the fridge of bottled drinks - nothing for nothing, then, despite J helping to pay her wage. Then back to put the now-clean stuff into dryers. Then off to the Y to wash ourselves.

The Y was next door - and charged $9 for a shower - 'You might use the other facilities and we wouldnt know it, so we have to charge for a day ticket.' Outraged, we dug into our pockets.

'See you in three hours, J,' I said, disappearing into the ladies. I know it's a YMCA, so facilities are going to be limited, but a big white room of shower heads sticking out of the wall? (That's all J had.) But girlies do have a couple of cubicles, with curtains that aren't wide enough, that drain straight through the cubie, washing shoes on the way through, that have a shower head pointing directly at the user, still in her clothing? Surely a modicum of thought could have gone into this. Found better in fishermen's washrooms. Or, on second thoughts, maybe a modicum of rubbish thought had gone into this, to make it so unappealing. Never mind. Cool, Suse. Just have a shower - at least the water is hot. So, with clothes, shoes and glasses clinging to the hook on the wall, I run in and soak for a minute, shampoo for a minute, then the water goes cold. So I have to rinse double quick before I get hypothermia. Praise heaven for the Antarctic practice a couple of years ago - but at least I knew what I was getting into then.

Back at reception, through teeth gritted to prevent them chattering, I told the girl at the desk about the problem, said I hadnt had time to use the other facilities, and said I wasn't impressed. 'Can't give a refund,' she said, writing a small note about me as she spoke. I hadn't asked for a refund - did she think I was swinging it? When I asked to speak to the manager, she told me she was the manager. So why is she writing a note to herself? $9 for 9 minutes? Great rate of income. I decided to sit outside and wait for J, who is taking his time, thinking I am taking mine. When he eventually comes out, he tells me the manager had told him his wife was waiting outside. Tee hee. I tell him about my cold shower, which has made me overheated. 'So that was the piece of paper she threw into the bin while we were talking? says J. I can so believe it, too.

But that's not all. We stopped at the icecream parlor for J to refresh himself again. He waits at the end of the counter, next to his choice of flavors. He waits. He waits. Eventually, the cheery girl shouts from the other end of the counter that they dont serve down where he is; he has to come up to the end where they will deign to serve. I dont even bother to go inside this time.

But that's still not all. We spend a riotous night heaving and lunging at our place on the three-piece pontoon, but fortunely exhaustion overcomes most of that. Next morning, we leave to go to the fuel dock. There is someone there - no problemo, we'll just tie up and wait at the next jetty, next to the tourist boat (Whalewatching trips - what, no whales, folks? Never mind! Better luck - next time!). As we approach, a guy jumps off the tourist ripoff, er, whale watching, boat.

We should have known. 'You can't stay here. Security.' We back off. It's like the 'Health and Safety' refrain back in good ole Blighty. The excuse for everything. Feck off. Bugger off. When we got on to the fuel dock, right next door, how much of a security risk were we then? This is a town that likes to say 'NO!' loudly and frequently.

We fecked off. We buggered off. We were happy to do so.


I've got this written down, back on the boat, natch, which is on a mooring right out in the harbour, so there will be blanks here.

We left Daniel's Head (aka South Side for the locals), Nova Scotia - god, seems like years ago, but only a week - and headed out across the Gulf of Maine for Bar Harbour. Couldn't wait to have J call up the Bar Harbour Harbour Master with a straight face. Anyway, we took turns hour on hour off on the helm, and I passed the time composing more verses to I Wish, I wish, oh I wish in vain ...

I wish, I wish, oh I wish in vain,
I wish I was ashore again.
But ashore again I ne'er shall be
Till I reach the end of this feckin journey.

You can tell I wasnt having the greatest time.

Rounding Cape Sable was bouncy in the extreme, but at least there wasnt a gale this time. J wanted to put up the main in all this jumping, and I absolutely forbad him until we'd got out of the rip tides and overfalls. I think it was bravado, or idiocy, that made him suggest it, anyway - daft clot. Makes you wonder about someone who has a waypoint in the middle of charted overfalls, eh?

As night fell, the loom of lights on the distant land were to starboard - the town of Yarmouth, NS, bidding us our last farewell to Canada. The land, this bit anyway, and of course, my fave Newfoundland, that likes to say "YES!" (see later post).

J said he was buzzed by a small aeroplane, strobing him and Fortune, then flying off. The land of Paranoia cant be that far off, then.

Monday, September 11, 2006

ANOTHER dinner party!

Monday 11 September

Still here because of Hurricane Florence due any tick now.

We are tied to a boat from the New England Aquarium - a not for profit organisation based in Boston. Monica and Kerry came to check their boat against the weather and they invited us back to their rented house for dinner. Amy, Lindsay and Grace are also part of the team - they are surveying the right whales around the coast here for a couple of months - third year here.

In honour of the occasion, J washed his hair, shaved and changed his clothes. I changed my trousers. We have let ourselves go more than a little ...

Sun 10 Sept

Forecast for high winds mean we are staying here for several days. I walked six -SIX - miles to see the lighthouse on the tip of Cape Sable, even though I couldnt actually get to it, as it's on an offshore bit of very low land. Strange to see the sea we sailed through over 3 months ago in a gale - today it was quite calm, despite the forecast.

With the dodgy knee moaning and various tendons coming out in sympathy, I thumbed a lift back to the boat with a very kind man called Ken. I pay for these trips with the tale of the summer, which suits both sides.

J did hamburgers for supper. I said how nice it was to be cooked for. J leered - so he should, having been cooked for all summer!

I finished the last of the dinner party bottles of wine. Shame,

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saturday 9 Sept

Motored up to extremely pretty and old Shelburne - old preserved houses and museums - for diesel and breakfast. I'm grabbing this PC at the marina/yacht club - very friendly here, but soon off.

lol xx

Friday 8 Sept

J up and extremely busy this morning. I felt and looked like death barely warmed, still knackered from yesterday. J looked a bit surprised when I said I didnt want to spend the next 30 hours bashing to windward on the wheel heading for Maine. Can't imagine why. So we spent the day peacefully at anchor, me asleep most of the time. By the evening, I felt heaps better - good enough to cook J his supper ...

When J suggested we make an interim stop at a place called Daniel's Head, a mere 25 miles further down the coast, he was again surprised when I said that sounded like the best news I'd had for ages - he regarded it as wasting a day - it would only be 3 pm when we get there - when we could go on for another 9 hours at least. Nope, Daniel's Head it will be.

Thursday 7 Sept

Left Lunenburg at 0900 this morning, heading for Port Mouton (Muhtoon), but after a while J suggested we head straight for Shelburne, some 45 miles further on. Weather mild, so OK.

Weather then decided to turn a bit windy (against us, of course), and the waves got decidedly choppy. We eventually got to Shelburne at 00.30 (Friday) and anchored off McNutt's Island. With no autohelm yikes! I had spent most of the time getting a numb bum and stiff legs perched behind the wheel.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

6 Sept

Yesterday turned out to be more fun than I was expecting - I was invited out to lunch unexpectedly and had a great time, then went to inspect an extremely picturesque local place called Blue Rocks. The film Dolores Claiborne was made around here.

In the evening J and I went out for dinner with V&A.

Honestly, it's all go - a mad social whirl! And I love it!

Today, it's raining, J's still sleeping it off, and I'm taking myself off to the coffee shop.

TTYL xxx

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A bad workwoman blames her tools - but this is Lunenburg, as well as I can photo it

Is there an Unkempt Street here? I don't think so - it's all very beautiful

Local transport x 2

Street signs


Tues 5 Sept

In Lunenburg, blogging at Scotia Trawlers (thanks to A). It's sunny again and the wind has blown itself out.

We should be leaving tomorrow for southern Nova Scotia.

lol to everyone!

Mon 4 Sept

At Lunenburg. Rained almost all day. Went for a walk. Went for coffee. Went for more coffee later. Helped J choose tee shirts for his nieces.

Met up with V&A again - how nice is that!

Sunday 3 Sept

Early this sunny morning, we left Rogues' Roost and the sleeping boats behind, heading for Lunenburg. With a small wind on the nose, we motored all the way over a glassy sea, the horizon barely marked as a shaded line.

A gull stood on a bobbing carcase, pecking at the gray, scarred skin. Impossible to tell what it was - but seemed too small for a seal.

And off Pearl Island, towards the entrance to Lunenburg, we crossed our outward bound line of three months' earlier. It felt - a completion? A memory? Surreal?

Sat 2 Sept

And this time we did leave. The engine, with some persuasion, started, and we motorsailed down the coast 25 miles to a wiggle among the islands called Rogues' Roost. Along with the rest of the local sailing world ...

Two lots of 5 boats rafted up together, and another of 3 boats. And several power boats. And a young kid in a noisy rubberdub racing round the anchorage, waving gleefully as he passed. You had to smile at his enthusiasm, but oh, how I missed the isolation of Newfoundland.

Friday 1 September

Up and eager this morning - we're leaving! Everything is made ready - lines brought back to the mast, bottle of Screech secure in my blankets down below.

Cast off!

And as we drift backwards out of the slip, the engine cuts out. J tries it again - and again - and again. Every time he puts it into gear, it stops dead. We're floating gently downwind towards the boats we helped R & S avoid a few days before. Oh the irony ...

'Shall I pull out the jib, J?' I enquire, as he wrestles with the engine. The jib blossoms - the wind has a lot of north in it and takes us down the Arm - we could sail ...

But J takes up a mooring buoy and rings Kenny the diesel genius, who is coming to Halifax today as it happens.

I fetch him in the dinghy, using the outboard for a change - and get a soaking again! But it's sunny. K and his toolbox are dry, and he spends most of the rest of the day delving inside the engine, his language getting blue and then bluer. Finally, he's qualifying it - 'c********rpardonmylanguage'!

He gets a phone call - he's burying a doberman pinscher the following day - he has a pet cemetery. I'm struck by the, to me, unusual combination of jobs. And there's a story behind it.

Many years ago, K's son came perilously close to drowning, saved by the icy water freezing his systems, and by his dog marking the spot where he was underwater. Miraculously, he was revived unharmed, and his dog was honoured for his part. K had a piece of land, determined to give the dog a proper place to be buried when the time came, and thus was born the pet cemetery.

This evening, I dinghied to the club for the Friday night jamming session - 2 guitars and a pretty mandolin as counterpoint. Old C&W and blues. How I enjoy singing! Afterwards, there was a party on one of the boats, and I was putting off dinghying back - in the dark, on my own, and funnily enough, worried about using the outboard. But there was no escaping - so I pretended to be brave, started up the outboard (instant forward, no gears) and putt-puttered into the dark feeling very small, dodging the moored boats, until I saw the riding light J had put in the rigging - home, and for a change, dry!

Colour blind

Thursday 31 August

Outside the supermarket, I'm waiting for a cab from The Yellow Cab Co.

'Will the cab be yellow?' I ask a young chap, thinking no doubt about the New York cabs.

'Oh yes,' he replies with certainty. I'm reassured - it's a busy place in the carpark.

'They come in lots of colours,' he continues. Errr .... ??

When it turns up, yep - it's black.

Racy Lady (again)

This evening I wangled a place on Niall and Penelope's sleek black 42 footer and went racing up and down the NW Arm, dodging between 'obstructions' (other people's moored boats). Jay was the tactician, 3 other peeps and I were the grunts. Not much wind, beautiful sunset and getting very close to other racers ooooo-er! This was the club Weds evening 'friendly' racing - very polite on the water. I did enjoy myself and huge thanks to N and P and to J for letting me pull sheets and grind winches!

Read between the lines ...