IT’S GOOD TO BE AFLOAT

Yachting Monthly - - VIEW FROM THE HELM -

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

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