Sunday 12 June 2011: Rounding the buoy
Sailing is a bit like climbing, great to do, but not much of a spectator sport. The most exciting time is the very beginning, when the boats jostle for position as they prepare to cross the start line, or as here, round the first buoy.
This is the beginning of the South Windermere Sailing Club annual flagship event, the Waterhead Race. The full length of Windermere and back, 21 miles in all. Time allowed for completion, 7 hours. The first crew were back in the clubhouse after just over 3 hours, the last crew were still out after 6 hours when I left for home. The fun and the frustration of sailing on Windermere is that conditions change fast, at the north end of the lake the wind picked up and the rain started and the water was very choppy, but back at the southern end the wind died and the remaining fleet were becalmed in steady rain.
I was doing my twice annual duty in the Safety boat. There were a couple of capsizes to attend to, but nothing too exciting. On the way back we towed a boat back in, then returned to pick up more customers, though one of the stragglers was determined to finish. He refused our repeated offer of a tow, and then to everyone's amusement our boat conked out for lack of fuel and we ended up being towed back ourselves by the other rescue boat.
This is a pretty ordinary photo to follow yesterday's that has now picked up more hearts than any other I have posted. Ironically, if I had had the energy to get up again, I maybe could have followed that. It was another perfectly still morning with bright skies - contrary to expectations. Thank you to everyone who gave stars and hearts, and best of all for the wonderful comments. Immediately after the event, I never quite know whether I have captured what I saw, and what I saw yesterday morning was something utterly sublime. The comments are confirmation that I at least got close. Thankyou.