Storm Petrel storms back!
Saturday the 17th November dawned sullen and cold up the Itchen by Northam Bridge where SP had been out the water for two weeks having a new rubber ring fitted to her sail drive. So she was ready and willing to set off for the Fast Cruise with her Boys Own(ly) crew on a mission to conquer! The Itchen is full of interest and I for one had never sailed all the way up to the Northam Bridge in my forty five years living in the area. Down the river, out into Southampton Water with an increasing chilly easterly wind on the nose we were please to have our breakfast under the spray hood with the motor and auto doing the work. The gloomy weather and discussion along the usual lines of 'why on earth are we doing this' was soon dispelled when we arrived at the start in good time to find Kioni and Finesse already stomping up and down like caged greyhounds with forty minutes to go! Other friendly faces soon hove in to view, one of the most special parts of these fourteen or fifteen years of fast cruises is the fellowship that we all gain from together doing something which is such fun and which can at times be challenging in winter weather. We sailed the course well reefed with the occasional gust of 25 knots, the fast boats disappeared ahead and most of the short course boats disappeared astern (rare for us so had to be mentioned!) and we jousted in company with Kioni on our way to the finish. The sun came out and the home run on a beam reach was just a joy, what a great day of sailing. The evening was a great success with the spreadsheet menu working perfectly and Sunday morning saw more brisk easterlies for the trip home to safe havens. The sun is very slowly coming down on our winter sailing days but we can still enjoy a great day out with friends in company and we are not giving up just yet! On to the Folly in December and Oh Dear what a weather forecast!