One of the consequences of getting through my cancer (well, so far anyway!) is that I’ve been trying to balance my life a little more in favour of me and my family.
When I was a child of about 10 or so I remember being able to comfortably single-hand the family Mirror dinghy (that my father built in our garage) around the Scottish lochs near where we lived at the time. I suspect in reality I wasn’t that good, and that the deeds have become magnified in my mind with the passage of time. And it was a very long time ago, so the magnification factor could be quite large. But that didn’t stop me from joining our local sailing club. Or (on impulse) acquiring a rather old, but well-looked after Mirror dinghy that had been laid up for the last year or two.
I’ve had a couple of test sails in it, both of which resulted in finding problems that required an immediate landing again. But this afternoon was the first real sail in anger; my middle daughter (who has been doing some sailing with the Sea Scouts and the youth section of the sailing club) took Petit Rouge a way up the river Hamble and back again. We spent about an hour on the water, and had a grand time in the light winds.
And while I’d not like to single hand her just yet, or take her out in high winds, I was surprised at just how much my memories of sailing came straight back. It was all a bit instinctive; pull this sheet in, let that sheet out, balance the trim of the dinghy by shifting my weight around … even when to tack, etc.
I think I’m going to enjoy getting back into sailing, but I really do wish that wetsuits were a little more flattering!