Showing posts from July, 2023

The Fastnet Race - 51° 23' 21"N 09° 36' 11"W

The Fastnet Race - that doesn't look too bad! Setting the scene   Emma is a cruising boat,   twenty glorious tonnes of gleaming aluminium with all the creature comforts - air-conditioning, microwave, freezer - that one would expect on well-appointed cruising yacht. She was loaded up with a tonne of spares, lots of warm clothes, cockpit cushions, cosy bedding and a galley filled to the gunwales with tasty food. VERY few race boats would choose to compete this heavy.   Emma's sail wardrobe consists of a main, a furling headsail, a furling staysail, an asymmetrical spinnaker and the mandatory storm sails. This is quite a lean selection, and a slight disadvantage, compared to other competitors who race with far more sail options. For the non-racing sailors, furling sails do not allow trimming the sail to an optimum shape - they are designed for ease and convenience.  The relatively sparse selection of sails would cause most racing aficionados to shake their head in dismay

Stow-on-the-Wold - 51° 55' 45" N 01° 43' 14" W

While Kate was busy with the Fastnet race, I was left free to explore.  Seeing as I was in England, I decided to turn some acquaintances into friends. First, I had a few days in Portsmouth.  After doing some administration (finding the Customs office and working out where to pick up my hired car in a few days), I walked all 'round the port area. It's always good to know where you are starting from. Portsmouth is very much a working port, as well as hosting a huge naval base and international ferry terminal. Good use of space for pleasure craft storage. A waterfront promenade made it much easier to ensure I was still as close to the waterfront as I could be. Found the sailing club! Still seems weird to have ferries regularly chugging past sooo close to the sea wall and footpath. Old trolley tracks along the waterfront.  It wasn't always this touristy. Pub lunch. Loads of museums and ship on display. I could have stayed three more days to po