IT’S GOOD TO BE AFLOAT
We’ve done it! At last, my wife and I have bought our first boat. Sure, there have been family boats before, but this is our very own. Buying a boat is always going to be a compromise. Sailing prowess, seaworthiness and comfort, all within a budget – everyone has a budget, and there is a boat for every budget. We’ve gone for a deep fin-keeled 1984 Sadler 29. She’s been in the water just over two weeks and we’ve only sailed as many miles in her, but we already love her. Ahead of us lies a summer of sailing. We’re not going to push it; our cruising, for now, will be about slowing down and enjoying life, wherever the wind takes us.
The wonderful thing about cruising is that you approach each new port from seaward, an alternative angle, even with familiar places. Ultimately, you return to land with a new perspective, refreshed and invigorated, unless it was a really bad crossing. In this issue, we’ve been sailing in Chichester Harbour (p52) to prove that adventure can be found close to home.
A friend said to me recently that there are three main joys of owning a yacht. The first is getting the boat set just right in a good breeze; that feeling of power and balance. Then there’s arriving in a quiet anchorage and enjoying a cold drink as the sun sinks to the horizon. Lastly, there’s the satisfaction, when something breaks, as it will, of mending it with your own hands and toolkit, and the sense of self-reliance that comes with it. The skippers of the Golden Globe Race (p62) are taking this to the extreme with a solo voyage that lasts longer than an astronaut’s mission.
Whatever your motivation, it’s good be afloat.
Yachting Monthly Editor