Thursday, 9 October 2014

Gentle Airs and Great Plumes.

The summer has managed to stretch itself right out until the very end of September. There were a few death rattles last week and a forecast of high winds and heavy rain for the weekend threatened the  DCA rally planned for Dell Quay on Sat.  CW was trying to tempt me out for a "rollock around the harbour" but I was sitting on my fence of prevarication playing hard to get. Then the stars moved slowly round in their firmament and gradually started to line up. The majority of rallyists opted for Sunday, the weather forecast started to look a bit brighter, CW gave me another nudge and the Tooth Fairy said go for it while you get the chance It'll be a long winter.

Sunday dawned chilly and still. Still as still can be. The proverbial mill pond could not have been stiller if it had been set in aspic. On the drive down to Itchenor I watched the Great Plume  which didn't exactly bode well for the breeze, and as I pulled the boat down to the hard a local worthy asked if I had an engine or at least a pair of oars as there were  a lot of disappointed sailors out there.   

I gave the boat a good shove off, to get me away round the pontoon and into the channel.  The tide was just beginning to ebb so I drifted gently in the current, but as I was making no way, I had no steerage and was in danger of bouncing gently off each boat in turn as I waltzed down through the mooring. To the oars then, well just the one as I was using the other hand on the tiller as I gently dabbed away. No sign of CW yet so I called him up on the ship to shore. Aren't mobile phones useful? He even had his turned on and was just launching at Cobnor so we rendezvoused at the end of the creek.
I saw Alan Moulton rowing in the opposite direction towards Itchenor, presumably looking for any other DCA folk drifting about. CW and I decided to make for Pilsey Island for morning coffee. This required deft skills in the precise and delicate art of light air sailing.  
After an extended repast at anchor, where Alan joined us, we saw Sarah gently beating up the channel in what can only be described as a full breeze and decided to join her.
We sailed out past East Head and over the harbour entrance to Sandy Point.
 Lovely relaxed sailing for the end of Summer.
 On Monday the heavens opened, and Autumn arrived.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Ciao Baby!

The Tooth Fairy, aka Mrs-Na-Storm and I had a little holiday in Sardinia last week. Very nice it was too, a beautiful country with rugged mountains and turquoise blue seas. 

The north west coast is quite developed in places with the type of beaches where you have to rent sun-loungers or take yourself off elsewhere.
 Actually elsewhere isn't hard to find, there are lots of little secluded beaches and coves tucked away if you follow the locals. They have little car parks with real live ticket collectors who are polite, give change, tell you not to worry if you are late back then knock off mid afternoon just as things are getting busy. It'll never catch on.
You then wander down a sandy path to some idyllic spot where the water is warm and crystal clear, perfect for a bit of snorkelling.

 Then you can sit on the Hotel towels and munch the picnic lunch you filched from the breakfast buffet.  No sun-loungers, no noisy bars, no worries.

We toured around a bit in our little hired Fiat Panda and wandered into Porto Cervo, which is apparently a playground of the Rich and Famous. It was hard not to notice this little plaything tied up to the Yacht Club Jetty, In fact it was difficult to see much else. 

I was amazed that you could just wander up and have a look, there were no security gates on the jetties, in Britain even the snottiest little pontoon has a security code but I suppose no one was going to nick the outboard off the back of this one. All very relaxed and Italian although I'm certain we wouldn't have got far up the gangway. 

The Yacht  is Dilbar which is owned needless to say by some Russian Bloke who very sweetly named it after his Mum. 
I feel I should hate it, it certainly doesn't "do it" for me, but I mostly found myself chuckling away to myself at the staggering opulence of the thing.  If you've got it why not flaunt it?  
Of course the danger with owning such a status symbol is that someone will come and park an  even bigger one  right next door. 
If you look closely  at the exhaust stacks you can just make out the crew going about their duties. Get them polished nice and bright boys.

We took a boat trip out around the Arcipelago della Maddalena on a lovely old wooden cruiser,  those fairleads are solid bronze,  stopping for lunch and a bit more swimming and snorkelling in the crystal clear waters.

Its a popular spot but thanks to the shallow water the big Gin Palaces can't get close.

Tough Eh?

Ciao Baby!