WHY WE LOVE WINTER
What to do now that winter is here? It is clearly tempting to wait out the dank days of winter cosied up indoors, with the boat safely on the hard until the balmy spring returns. That’s an awfully long time to be land-locked though, so Pasque will be staying in this winter and I’m looking forward to it. The ‘off season’ has frequently given me some of my most memorable sails; crisp frost on the deck, a whistling kettle as the low sun rises over the burnished water, and a cloudless sky overhead.
Bundled up, we’ve relished bracing (and admittedly short) sails to arrive in harbour before the early dusk to hurry to the nearest pub with a roaring fire. As the Danes would say, you don’t get more hygge than that. Having done just this with non-sailing friends a few times, I reckon it could even be the best time to introduce novices to the charm of sailing; short passages, a sense of genuine adventure and the reward at the end of it are often met with firm approval, as long as they’re kept warmly wrapped up.
If you’ve already laid up for the season, all is not lost. There are plenty of ways to get afloat this winter (p36). It might be the ideal time to do whatever you’ve been putting off – having a go at dinghy sailing at your local club, brushing up on a training course, or booking a last-minute Caribbean adventure.
Whatever you do, spare a thought for the Golden Globe sailors currently catching the worst of the tail-end of winter in the Southern Ocean. With more experience of extreme weather in a few weeks than most of us would want in a lifetime, the tales they have to tell are quite remarkable (p20).