Tucked up for the winter again.

Tucked in for the winter again.

Well, it seems another year has past. Quite staggering really, I don’t seem to have done half the things I’d planned to do once again, but never mind. I did get some great boaty adventuring in and have learnt a bit more about my chosen coastal area…which is the main aim for me really. It occured to me that the generally frantic seasonal nature of the construction trade is hindering my available time for sailing a bit in the summer months. I haven’t thought of a workable solution to this yet, but it may be that I have to start being more realistic about how many projects I take on next year. No point in living down here in the west country and not enjoying the summer months when they finally arrive. It’s also left me no time at all to update the website (as you may have noticed), so….

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If I didn’t have much time I’d simply sail up river to my favourite anchorage outside The Turf Hotel and spend the evening supping ale and listening to all the night creatures before heading back to my mooring the next morning.

If I had a bit more time in hand I would nip out across the bar for a jaunt along the coats for the day.

If I had a bit more time in hand, I would nip out across the bar for a jaunt along the coast for the day where maybe, if I was very lucky, I might see….

DOLPHINS!!

….DOLPHINS!!

 

A beautiful sanctuary the next morning. Couldn't resist a dawn stroll about on our little island before the rest of the world got up and ruined it.

Did manage a few nice little overnighter trips to places such as Teignmouth here….

...or Lyme Regis

…or Lyme Regis here. Filmed this trip and put it on youtube.

As I mentioned at the start of the year, I’m getting a bit weary of having to dismantle, load and trail Macavity home or to Exeter at the beginning and end of each season. There must be an easier way of wintering a cruising boat that won’t cost me too much of my sailing kitty. I’ve already ruled out winter yard storage on the grounds of cost (2 lots of craneage each year plus 6 months of yard storage is around £850). Plus the fuel costs involved with driving to Exeter or Teignmouth each time I want to check on her or do a bit of fettling would soon mount up.

I then thought about getting a much larger trailer so I could leave all her gear aboard for the road journeys without sweating every time a police car roams into view. Ultimately though, this would involve more expenditure for very little gain and would be rendered utterly redundant if I wanted to trade up to a bigger boat. The trailer I have is in very good shape and there’s really no reason to change it.

2 Ton twin axle, Don Parker trailer with four new 6ply tyres . Nowt wrong with it really.

2 Ton twin axle, Don Parker trailer with four new 6ply tyres . Nowt wrong with it really.

Then, following a chance conversation in a Topsham pub, I learnt that the council have winter moorings for rent on the old ship canal for a very reasonable monthly rate. This seems perfect! I can leave her on her river mooring until the very last glint of autumn, extend my sailing season by a few precious weeks each year, have no crane fees to pay and get her back in the water the moment a daffodil appears next spring. Ok, so I can’t work on her very well on the canal but there’s nothing much to do now and I could even spend a few nights afloat over the winter which will be a novelty. Great solution.

Then though, I started thinking a bit further. “Well, if I don’t need a crane or yard storage and if I don’t need to trail her home each year, maybe now is the time to get a boat more able to reach out to that horizon…. a long keeled boat…. a boat with a reliable diesel inboard…. a BIGGER BOAT!” These were dark and treacherous thoughts. Macavity has been such an amazing adventure from the start and has taught me everything I know to date. How could I even consider selling her after all those miles and all that work to get her there? I still don’t know if I can to be honest, but I did speculatively put her on ebay and apolloduck to be sold with her trailer. As yet I haven’t had any solid, sensible offers so it might not happen at all, but…. I feel I should at least try out some different boats. So I’ve been to view quite a few over the past couple of months. Some very tidy and expensive, some full of water and bad diy repairs, none that have grabbed me as yet. Going to see a neglected but cheap Halcyon 27 tomorrow in Poole. We shall see…..