Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday, 13th May

I’m not at all superstitious, but those who are, would say the omens are there for a horrible day, since it is the 13th and a Friday. Incidentally, some sailors will never put to sea on a Friday. For me, there was no chance of putting to sea, because the wind has been very strong from the East all day and the forecast predicts there will be a full gale later this evening.

Who would have thought I would still be at Yarmouth, and yet a local here by the name of Martin Morris says this spell of strong winds is due to last until Monday or Tuesday of next week. I met Martin this evening, and by a coincidence he owns a Wylo class blue water cruiser designed by Nick Skeats. His steel boat is almost identical to John Srutt’s, a friend whom Martin met because he had built one himself.

I can’t remember if I mentioned the Autohelm electronic self-steering packed up on the leg between Dover and Brighton, but Martin has offered to take me to Cowes tomorrow morning, where I’ll most likely find an Autohelm dealer.

The Yarmouth Harbour Master kindly recharged my laptop computer because the pontoon where I am currently moored does not have an electric supply.

This afternoon I had an enjoyable walk following the Freshwater Trail, which is a small trek normally taking a couple of hours while exploring the countryside on both sides of the River Yar. I was amazed at the enormous variety of trees in the area. I saw oak, silver birch, maple, slow, ash, hazel, various fir trees, dead elm trees and many others, the names of which I am unable to recall.

Because there are several different habitats such as mud flats, grassland, copses and woods, bird life is abundant. I saw finches, swallows, blackbirds, crows, magpies and several species of wading birds.

I was also aware of a wide variety of wild flowers along the hedgerows, and in the woods I marvelled at a wonderful show of bluebells like a rich carpet laid out for the Queen.

My walk started in bright sunshine, but as it came to a close the sky darkened with a hint of rain and shortly after my evening meal there was a heavy shower.

The sport of sailing a small boat along the UK coast requires patience and money - patience, because one has to wait for the weather; and money, because it costs to stay put at a marina. Patience I have, but the money, it’s going rather too quickly.

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