Skillful sailing assures a prosperous voyage

I went on a cruise yesterday. On a yacht, which had sails and everything. I’ve never really been sailing before. The limited knowledge gleaned from movies and TV gave me the impression that it was a whirl of action, where a foot in the wrong place or a moment’s inattention would lead one to being smacked soundly in the head by a sweeping piece of metal. Fortunately the reality, at least in this case, was somewhat different.

A sail against the sun

We set off from Lymington in the heat of the late afternoon sun on what, it transpired, was one of the hottest days of the year. The good weather was entirely good fortune as I’d booked the trip weeks ago. It’s impressive that something the size of a yacht can be moved by something the size of a yacht’s sail. Although if it couldn’t, the sail would not really be fit for purpose. But we managed to cross the Solent under wind power, occasionally tacking (which is the bit when you have to duck to avoid the sweeping piece of metal).

Chicken on pasta with parmesan cheese

After a tour of the Needles we dropped anchor in Alum Bay, where we enjoyed the sun, the water and the food that was conjoured up from the yacht’s tiny kitchen. It was very civilised and relaxing. It was probably also one of the few places that wasn’t showing the men’s Wimbledon final, and I successfully avoided the Grand Prix result too. The photos accompanying this post are from my phone.

A spider crawls along a wire on a sailing boat

The temperature dropped rapidly as the evening wore on, and I was grateful for having brought warmer clothes to change into. Sadly the wind had disappeared so the journey back was carried out with the gentle chug of a diesel engine in the background. But it was still very pleasant watching the last few pleasure craft making their way back into harbour. We were very well looked after by the skipper Nigel and Tim.

Sunset over Hurst Castle

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