The Owners Agent and I spent the recent festivities in Nova Scotia whilst Vagabond remained in safely in the shed beside the cattle. I assume she is still there for there hasn't been time to see.
You would think it a short flight from London to Halifax but direct flights were not available. The route offered was via Montreal and this left me with time on my hands at 38000 feet above the North Atlantic. .
I fell into a dream. Where and when do we resume the voyage? Do I trail her back to Balvicar (incidentally, Balvicar got a mention in PBO the other month - did you see it?) to then continue clockwise as before, so ending our journey back at Burnham on Crouch - or shall I trail her to Burnham to turn left every morning so that we arrive at Balvicar some time in the late summer? If we did the latter, Vagabond could rest at Balvicar for following winter and be ready for a cruise of the Western Isles in 2014. I find the idea of meeting ourselves halfway and the following cruise quite tempting.....
My wool gathering turned into a bit of a muddle: do we need a sort of cruising sheet? Does that need a boom? How about a duck board in the cockpit? Or some sort of extension to my legs so that I can more easily stand on the lee side of the cockpit when heeling to the breeze? Perhaps I need built up shoes! And then there is the idea of a piece of wood to cover over the outboard well so that there is less slop and gurgle when going downwind. Do we need more solar cell capacity - it never was really tested this summer as we "parked" in marinas so often. Do I need to replace the wind speed and direction vane that was shaken off the mast. I hear rumours of a new aerofoil shaped mast - will that be stiffer than the current one and less liable to vibration. Oh yes, we need to seal the duct that brings the gas pipe into the cabin from the gas locker. Does the A frame help when lifting the mast? And then there is the matter of charts and pilots - do they need updating? And I though there was a broken strand in the fore stay. There will be some long stretches on the East Coast - could an autopilot be made to work? Or do I try to persuade one of my long suffering friends to do a couple of overnight sails with me? The outboard needs servicing. The centre board lifting blocks need lubricating. The rudder pintles need examination. The scuffs on the centre board and rudder need epoxying from the odd bump or two that they had - (that's an admission that's just sneaked out).
The list goes on and on.
Nova Scotia was cold, with snow. Apparently it rained a lot in the UK. A bit like last summer really. I gather the met office is laying bets on the Jet stream being South again in the coming summer. Looks like an interesting year ahead.