There can be no finer antidote to the first snows of winter than to escape
to more southerly climes and renew my love affair with the sea. Gibraltar to
Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, in the footsteps or should that be wake of
Columbus, who must have passed this way.
A legendary navigator, he famously left home not knowing where he was going
or when he would get there. On arrival he did not know where he was, and
upon his return he didn't know where he had been. With skills like that he
could have been a bowman !
P42 is a racing machine with a huge mainsail and we have been powering
downwind in virtually no breeze, touching 10 knots, riding a foaming bed of
surf. The moon is nearly full and the moonlight on the sea forms a dancing
silver highway with the sky full of stars, planets and shooting stars.
Columbus might have learnt a thing or to from our RYA Instuctor, Ric Searle
who is also seriously accomplished racing sailor, having thrice competed in
the legendary 3 peaks yacht race including first place apparently followed
by an impressive performance in the bar.
Sabrina has taken over as Skipper since Gibraltar and has had a remarkably
civilising influence. She accepted with alacrity my suggestion that we might
try and wean the lads off their diet of crisps and kitkats by gently
introducing the concept of fresh food. Our efforts in this direction just
received a massive boost because we have just caught a huge Dorado which was
quickly filleted and lightly cooked in olive oil.
Young Jack from Orkney is another accomplished sailor but perhaps he has
secret ambitions on an alternative career since he is currently conducting
an experiment to see how long he can wear rubber boots before his feet fall
I had a great time in Gib including descending the Rock via the
Mediterranean Steps which zig zag down the sheer outside face. With just
four of us on board I am a bit puzzled though, where are the rest of you ?
EHW (Ernest Hemmingway Wanabee )