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  • janenewaudby

Bye Summer 2018

Summer 2018.... What a cracker! We didn't go anywhere this year. Instead we took out visitors on the yacht and shared some of the delights of sailing in the Highlands, like the white tailed sea eagle chicks and dolphins. It was lovely to see this things afresh through other people's eyes. I hope we helped to create some really special memories. While the South continued to have brilliant weather into the Autumn, ours effectively broke by the end of August and its been rubbish ever since. There is very little as depressing as looking at your poor boat sitting in the rain and wind.... watching her become more damp down below. So by October, you are somewhat desperate to "put her to bed" for the winter, with heater and dehumidifer on board. In the Highlands, you get a time and a date to haul her which is based on high tide during Spring tides. These only come around once a fortnight, so if you miss your slot, you have to wait.....and there is no guarantee that the next slot will work either. Its always an anxious time waiting to see if the weather will co-operate, because we need calm weather to get her into the pictured contraption. Reversing a car into a narrow space is one thing, but reversing a boat is another..... if there is any wind, its impossible. On the run up to the lift out, we were scanning all the weather forecasts with dismay. Storm Calum was brewing and it would be bringing storm force winds.... As the day got closer, we could see that the day of the lift out would actually be calm, but the day and evening before would be horrendous, and we needed 7 hours to sail around to the lift out place..... In the end, in our determination to make the slot at 10am on Saturday, we stayed up on Friday night until the wind stopped shrieking and shaking the house (descending to mere blustery gusts) and we headed out in the dark to the boat. We motored out at 2.30am into pitchy black in pouring rain. Jules was stationed on the foredeck with a torch to try and pick up any langoustine creel marker buoys (which are a danger in case they wrap around the propeller). We had eyes on stalks for an hour and a half until we reached the submarine exercise area. What a palaver. By dawn we could relax as the wind was obeying the forecast and was diminishing rapidly. Finally, at 10am, we reversed neatly into the cradle. All we have to do next spring is reverse the process.....

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So if life is a buffet ... we just moved onto a different course. The seven year Highlands adventure is over. I feel like the cat, a bit like I've been ripped away from something that mattered. Eve

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