Stage 1 complete - So how's it gone?

posted 3 May 2015, 08:11 by Dominic Thwaites   [ updated 3 May 2015, 08:18 ]
Let me find a word that sums it up, hmmm, yes, I've got it: COLD

Actually, to be honest, it's gone remarkably true to expectations. It's taken pretty much exactly the amount of miles and time that I predicted. That's a pleasant surprise. I've had some dramas but I expected those too, though perhaps they came a little thicker than I would have liked: Lobster pot altercations, foresail escapes, anchor rope round keel to name the main 3 offenders.

I think I've been hard done by with the wind, especially the first week where the usual south-westerlies were replaced by north-easterlies. So a lot of "up hill" sailing. Despite this, I'm really pleased to have motored as little as I have - under 30% of the time. This is very good relative to how much other people do.

But of course the real gotcha has been the cold. It's been bitter. Both sailing and in the evenings and in the night. I have been permanently on the verge of getting seriously cold. I had not expected that and I really hope it'll warm up a little for the next stage!

As I suspected, I find the time ashore considerably more fun that the time afloat. I would generally say that each passage is more of a means to an end to experience the next port of call. I do like the sailing, and I have had a fair amount of sun, but the wind and the cold has kinda sapped the fun out of it. Experiencing the places I visit has been fantastic. And of course the bicycle has made that SO much more achievable. What a great idea to bring the bike.

That said, I have tended to push myself when ashore. Going for good cycle rides or long walks which adds significantly to the physical exertion of it all. I'm not sure I can keep up that pace especially at times when I am not in a marina. Getting the dingy out and in again and carting the bike on it is a significant undertaking and I can only see myself doing that if I have most, if not all of the day to profit from it.

Given that I considered the East coast the least spectacular of the venture I've been pleasantly surprised by many of my experiences.

I think I've done as well as I could have expected on the money raising front as I am pretty forthright in advertising myself and I have got quite a few marina fees donated and quite a few personal donations from people I meet. I'm not a gregarious person and I'm pleased to have been proactive (as was one of my objectives) in talking to people and getting to know them. That's been fun.

The blogging, photographing and tweeting also takes quite a bit of time and, combined with everything else, I have honestly not had a single moment to do any relaxing activity like reading! By the time I'm done I'm ready for my cold sleeping bag.

It's been pretty full on for the whole two weeks and the whole experience has been incredible and unforgettable (even for my bad memory as I've documented every gory detail on this site!).

Let us see what stage 2 has to offer....you never know.


Comments