Saturday, February 24, 2007


Do I have the resolve to finish building my dream retirement sailing boat? I started building her in August, 2005; that’s a period of 1 ½ years, and yet the exterior needs encapsulating in fibreglass and the cabin top has to be built. If I’m fortunate to have suitable weather during the spring of 2007 I may finish her by late June. During the winter of 2006/7 I was unable to make any progress whatsoever. As could be expected, the weather was cold and wet - neither condition was conducive for boat building, especially when of necessity I have to do it outside in the elements. My garage where the boat is being stored is too small for me to build her under cover. Bearing in mind these facts, it’s no wonder I question my resolve. Will the boat ever be finished? Furthermore, my body has been feeling the effects of many years of use and there are times when any real physical effort is required I find it hard to bring it about. I’m reminded of the verse, ‘Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn; at the going down of the sun we shall remember them.’ I have not yet been totally condemned by aches and pains, but they do make themselves known on a daily basis. I’m also reminded of the long distance runner who has to pass through the pain barrier before he feels his pain no more; for him pain becomes the norm, the elixir until the race is finished, and more solemnly I remember the saying, ‘Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.’ The same goes for old sailors; they get swallowed up by the sea. Davy Jones is there with ever open arms at the bottom of the ocean.

Well, poor chap. He’s really in a bad way. Let’s get the violins out and play the dirge, ‘But where there’s life, there’s hope!’

I am looking forward to the spring; even now daffodils, crocuses, polyanthus, snowdrops and primroses are in bloom, due to the slightly warmer weather of late February. Each day the sun remains above the horizon for another 3 minutes; at that rate I’ll soon be wearing my Panama hat and Gucci sunglasses. The Water Board will be imposing a hosepipe ban and the grass will be burnt to a frazzle by the sun’s rays. With a forever high pressure system slap bang over the UK there’ll be no wind for sailing my gorgeous new Paradox and I’ll have to toil at the yuloh to make any progress. No, really, there is a bright future, even for me, if the Lord sees fit. The Western Approaches beckon and sirens of the Scilly Isles sing their irresistible melodies. Onward and upward, I must press on resolutely with great resolve!