Some years ago I would have happily done any amount of grovelling for an opportunity to go sailing. Boatless and with few contacts, standing on the beach gazing at the sea was often as near as I got. There was windsurfing of course but my equipment was limited to wind strengths of force 5 and above. The joys of back and forth sailing, scoring a groove in the ocean, had waned. I wanted to cruise a sailing boat.
In the way of life summer 2010 brings more possibilities than I could ever have hoped for. Now the problem is that there are more options than time or money.
On the one hand I’ve been invited by my friend and blogger, Suso, who writes lajareu por barlovento to camp cruise a dorna on the Galician coast for four or five days. We’d sail in the Ria de Vigo and explore the Cíes islands. I’ve written about the dorna here before, it’s an interesting and beautiful traditional boat with a powerful dipping lugsail and Brobdingnagian oars. Suso assures me that the sailing is excellent on the Ria, as is the fishing. How could I refuse?
Then there’s the possibility of joining Giacomo de Stefano—sailing and rowing from London to the Black Sea—on his Man on the River project. I’ve been in touch with Giacomo via email and have been made to feel very welcome. I admire what he’s doing and would feel honoured to take part. I was thinking about accompanying him for the Channel crossing but he’s building at such a pace that he’ll have set sail long before I am ready. Giacomo estimates the journey will take him 6 months and has encouraged me to join him later on in the trip. How could I refuse?
And then there’s the option of scaring myself silly ‘alone on a wide, wide sea.’ However, to call this an option is not strictly accurate. I can’t not have my annual solitary sail in Onawind Blue. Just me and the boat and the elements—this is what I think about nearly every night as I go to sleep. The question really is where will I cruise OB this year. Will I go offshore again, or cruise the coast, or trailer somewhere and hang out in coves, swimming and fishing?
I count myself extremely lucky even to have such dilemmas.