Midwinter Flap

Linda and I had a terrible last full week of working this year. L was stressed, anxious, and over-worked and I was worried sick about my poor parents whose diminishing health is causing them suffering. So we needed even the shortest of weekends away from everything to escape our mundanity.

After the week finished on Friday afternoon we jumped in the car and rolled up to Craobh. By the time we got there the winters night was well ensconced and had descended her chill over the land and the water. We decided to miss the live music in LOTI due to the increased risk of the new COVID variant; omicron. Rather cooking ourselves a bowl of mince on board and a glass of red wine.

Hunger satiated, we set to bed early and, with the heater having warmed the boat through slept warm and comfortable all the way through to 09:30 on Saturday morning.

The static high sitting over the UK, with its settled air and high humidity along with the winter chill set up a thick but shallow fog over the water. Looking up, most of the time you could glimpse the blue but horizontally an impenetrable mist hung heavy across the calm surface.

Air temps of 2C, and wind speeds not exceeding 5knotts allowed a gentle, peaceful and tranquil motor out of the marina. Shaking the reefs of last weekends sporty sailing out of the. Main, the whole canvas was set and trimmed. We were getting up to 4knotts of speed when tide and gentle breeze helped us along together.

Overall it was a very pleasant sail with seals, two otters and plenty of seabirds to keep us company. We travelled up to Balvickar then down the west side of Shuna before anchoring in the lagoon just south of Craobh in Bagh An Tigh-Stoir bay.

The bottom is thick mud and I reckon a tripping line is a must as there appears much in the way of discarded warps and ancillary junk down there. We were anchored up by 15:00 with the heater on, the anchor light set, and our books on our laps.

Dinner was a Tesco Chicken and Bacon pie with roasted new potatoes and Mediterranean Vegatables. We had the last of our Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano D’Abruzzo and savoured every mouthful. The feeling of loss as I licked the last of the tannin crystals from my teeth inspired me to order a case to replenish supplies.

The ability to order my favourite wine, while on anchor in a relatively remote bay wasn’t lost on me and I enjoyed that experience too.

We watched “Valley Uprising” and “Sunshine Superman” after dinner and the whole evening was gentle, pleasant and healing.

We tried a new plan with the heater overnight, switching it off when we went to bed and having it turn on a couple of hours before we planned to awake. It seemed to work very well and Linda was less snuffely than usual on Sunday morning.

Overnight there were some really weird noises and I still don’t know if it was creatures or coming from land. I preferred last weekend’s geese either way!

Sunday saw us up and off by 10am after ham and eggs with toast. I spotted more rope lying in the water just beside the boat before we weighed anchor so we need to keep an eye if we anchor there again.

It was only a very short hop from the lagoon round into the marina so we actually set Misha up for berthing before we weighed anchor. The fog was far denser than Saturday so it was all lights as we motored round.

The air in the marina was very still and I parked her perfectly back in her own pontoon. She is all double roped but needs top ups of water and diesel before we next head out.

I’m writing up the weekend in bed at home, complaining of the lack of ripple and the lack of rocking, I’ll never sleep when it’s this still!

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