Sailing is one of those activities that draw people together in their common interest; friendships are established and strengthened by sharing. Cruising folk look to companions for adventuring together. On rare occasions, friends will co-own a vessel, share expenses, help with maintenance and cruise together. More commonly, owners of yachts will want sailing companions to crew for a cruise, or part of cruise. Both the owner and his crew benefit from joint enterprises, maybe club handicap racing, an afternoon’s sail or a cruise lasting several days.
Friends of mine have crewed for me and I have crewed for them. I was touched and delighted when Bill asked me to be his companion for a cruise to the Azores. We had cruised before and we had confidence in ‘Ishani’, as she had proven her sea-keeping qualities when we cruised to the Scilly Isles from Combwich, near Bridgwater, where the home-built Eventide was kept in a mud berth, a little more than a stone’s throw my friend’s home.
After provisioning the yacht and saying our goodbyes we cast off lines and made sail for Steart Island by Burnham-on-Sea, via the River Parrett. The time was 1450 on 21st May, 1987, and there was a light northerly, which necessitated using the Yanmar diesel auxiliary engine. Our plan was to anchor to the east of the island near number 9 starboard hand buoy. There to take rest, have a meal and get underway at midnight for the ebb down channel past Minehead, hopefully to Watermouth, arriving there at slack water. All went to plan, so we dropped anchor for a well-earned rest until the next high water. It was not profitable to motor against the fast flowing water which gurgled along the hull, occasionally brushing bladder weed against the sides.
Text for the Day
1 John 5:5 'Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.'
Eventide Owner's Group