I have been sailing for a long time, more years than I care to think about sometimes and as I look back, I realise that it is the unexpected trips or the odd days out that you didn’t plan for or expect to do that in many ways are the ones you most enjoy!
I was recently reminded of this only a couple of weeks ago when I arranged to take a former colleague of mine out for a sail in Doha Bay together with a mutual acquaintance. The weather forecast wasn’t promising and we had been umming and arring over it for a few days and decided in the end to just turn up at the marina and make a final decision on the morning.
That Tuesday morning wasn’t too great, the sun was shining but the wind was a bit iffy! We had checked the weather forecast and checked the airport weather station, which seemed to indicate that although blowing a Force 4 to 5 it wouldn’t get much worse. So we thought we’d chance it! Off we set having got the boat ready, planning to put 2 reefs in the main on Waveplane. We had a bit of a fight getting the mainsail up, then bore off to find the wind had piped up a bit nearer to Force 6!
I had a bit of a job sorting out the reefs as the main has a huge loop of sail hanging down when it has 2 reefs in and I was short of string to tie it up with, but once accomplished, the sail set quite nicely. My friend on the helm suggested that maybe we shouldn’t hoist the jib, but I said No! We’ll hoist it, she’ll be more balanced that way, really meaning I didn’t want the sail getting washed away or even torn by the waves coming over the bow! Waveplane is a bit of a wet boat! So I duly got the sail hoisted with the assistance of the young lady who had come with him, a complete novice who was thoroughly enjoying the lively conditions! Set the sail and off we shot!! Now that the sails were set and pulling nicely we just had the most gorgeous sail around the bay that I had had for ages! Just a relaxed sail, no pressure, boat sailing along at a great rate of knots just enjoying the water and the wind!
It really was a joy just to be out on the water enjoying the wind and the waves and some very pleasant company. Waveplane proving again what a fun boat she is to sail, even if you do need a complete change of clothing after a bumpy ride!
It’s trips like these when we experience the unexpected that make our sport so wonderful and a joy to do. I have had a few like that, then there have been a few unexpected trips which have been fantastic in other ways, a nice request from someone to come along and enjoy the ARC Atlantic Rally for Cruisers on a trans Atlantic trip because they like what you do!
You never know what is around the next corner, so don’t be in a hurry to turn down that unexpected trip! You never know what may happen or where it might lead.