Sailing & teaching again.
What a crazy year. Kasara was launched by lockdown, so we spent the first 6 weeks checking up on her by walking down to the creek and peering over a fence into the otherwise closed marina.
The benefit of her being "in the water" was that as we came out of lockdown and the marinas opened up, we were able to get out on the water avoiding the queues of boats ashore lining up for the hoist.
This added to our "not so bad" lockdown experience in that we were able to get afloat quickly during the fabulous weather of May, June and July. The Solent was not particularly crowded and as many of the marinas were not allowing "visitor" yachts to overnight we discovered the delights of anchoring in secluded remote bays and estuaries from Chichester to Poole.
Due to Covid it was just Jan & I. On a few occasions I took friends for day sails managing to social distance in a boat cockpit!
Only relatively recently have marinas endeavoured to get back to some degree of normality along with marine businesses including charter and sailing schools.
I have just finished instructing on my 1st course of the year, a 5 day competent crew course, which reflected the new version of what we are able to do as instructors.
Two friends formed a bubble and Kasara became their home. Instead of visiting other harbours we returned to Hamble Point each night, at which point I would disembark and go home, turning up again in the morning to repeat the process. (the first 9 - 5 job I have ever had!) I could not go below into their space, (unless there was an emergency - which there wasn't) so I kept the aft cabin free for myself and out of bounds for my students. If I needed to get out of the weather or retrieve my picnic - I would just shimmy down the hatch and back up again. Face coverings were abandoned when visors started jettisoning themselves over the side in anything more than a force 3.
This seems like it maybe the modus operandi for the foreseeable future. I have a couple of other Day skipper courses booked over the next few weeks. Each one I'm sure will present it's own version of bizarre, but I think folk are generally just happy to be back on the water.
And so to our Around Britain challenge. We actually arrived back in Hamble Yesterday based on our 2020 plan. Whilst not keeping a day to day log of the entire "virtual" event I have kept a weather eye on how we may have proceeded. As we know May, June and some of July presented some excellent weather, though the northern shores of our fair Isles receive their own climate! August on the East Coast would have been challenging, but possible and our arrival back in Hamble on Sunday would have been in light winds and calm seas. So I think we can post that a successful virtual circumnavigation!
AB21 is calling us, surely all this will be behind us by then. Let's hope so - we have adventures to share.