No regrets!

On the 14th March we celebrate two years of Salty Lass coming into our lives and reflect on how it has changed us.

Two years ago we had our sea trial and survey and that had gone well, so the previous owners signed the paperwork over and the broker kept the paperwork, until we had paid for Salty Lass and took ownership on the 14th. When we bought Salty Lass we paid 75% of our budget on Salty Lass and over the last two years we have spent the remaining 25% on things like our standing rigging, chart plotter and solar panels. According to our Insurance, the standing rigging was classed as on going maintenance, while the chart plotter and solar panels was classed as upgrades and we have been able to up the price insurred for Salty Lass as a result.

When we bought Salty Lass our aim was to sail and over the last two years we have done quite a lot of sailing. For us one of our best sails was coming out of Liverpool and sailing over to Conwy, it was a champaign sail and everything felt fantastic. Last season our favourite sail was from Porthdinllaen to Holyhead it was a cracking sail but we were quite tense because we had electrical issues earlier that day. Another memorable journey, but this time under motor was watching the bioluminescence in the water, we did manage to video it but it was a pale shadow of what we saw in reality. Another time when we saw dolphins in the bioluminescence the camera picked up nothing.

Beverley asked how all these moments had changed us. For me, one of the main issues that I was concerned about was my health. I'm a chronic asthmatic, I suffer from celiac disease and because I'm a free lancer all I was doing was moving from my bed to my desk and that was it. While now, I'm still a free lancer, but I'm exercising a lot more simply because I have too. That exercise might be because I'm having to walk everywhere, when you are sailing you are exercising too, plus you are just outside a lot more and you feel fitter because of that fact alone. For Beverley, she describes herself as an IT burn out, it was a mental issue for her and she needed to get away from what she was doing.

Then Beverley asked if I had any doubts. For me I had a lot of doubts because, it is a complete leap of faith and we would be going from two salaries to one, but I had read an article on the five regrets of the dying and it went on about what people regret and I didn't want to be like that. We had this crazy idea and I knew that I would regret not going for it. For Beverley, she knew that what she was doing, was doing her head in, so something had to change, she has had her moments especially as we were going around Chicken Rock.

Over the last two years we have changed Salty Lass from a daysailer into a cruising boat, so we have added an auto helm and we have changed our old chart plotter from a unit you had to step over in the door, to a new plotter at the helm which is where you want the information. We have become more competent sailors, because we are out there doing stuff. In our Damsels in Distress episode we had clearly not got the tides right as we went 7 nautical miles in 3 hours, but when we turned around we did the same distance in 40 minutes. Portpatrick was the first time we had tied up to a harbour wall and when you do a harbour wall for the first time it can be very intimidating, while now because we have watched people, we quite like harbour walls and our technique has improved. In fact now our technique for getting in is simply, get her in as quickly as you can and worry about everything else afterwards. We now know what each of us are doing, for example on a very early sail, we came in and we messed up at the last minute so we had a screaming row, while now we would be a little more philosophical about it. We messed up, fine, so lets now move on.

Beverley then asked if we take less risks, for this its more about where you are going to get localised weather, for example at Baumaris, there is a wind tunnel, so you will have localised weather, also at headlands you will get localised weather and we now know where this localised weather will be. So knowing about these issues means that we know where to add a few forses to any wind predictions.

One of our followers asked about where we both met. Well that was a long time ago in 1984 when we were both students and I was the hardware student and Beverley was the software student. We became friends and when Beverley returned to Northern Ireland we became pen pals. We phoned each other occasionally, with one phone call at two in the morning because I had watched the devil rides out.

Another question from our viewers is about our long term and short term plans. For short tern, it is the virus that is our main concern, we are planning to leave Bangor in a few weeks time, but we might not be able to leave. Also will we be able to go where we want to go, if places are locked down, then our plans will have to go on hold. We would still like to be able to sail around Ireland and complete the extra 600 nautical miles that we need to do, to qualify to become yachtmasters. For the longer term, then we would like to go to the Mediterranean, but Brexit has a lot to say about that and we will need to see exactly what is happening with all that. So with the virus and Brexit then we have two unknown knows which is a very difficult situation to be in, so we will just have to wait and see.

A little sailing philosophy

  • Don't buy a coach, buy two bunks and a set of sails
  • If you have ever seen cows coming out in the spring, then we were like that for our first sail of the season
  • As we have been out and about then we have had lots of practice of getting it wrong
  • When you are sailing 100nM then every day is a potential cock up
  • Night hours, for yachtmaster then you should have 24 night hours while we have over 130night hours which in our opinion is 100 too many
Raising money for the RNLI

The RNLI turned 200 years old on 4th March 2024. So as sailors and people who promote the joy of sailing, we thought that we would like to raise just £200. What we hope is that other people take up the shout and raise their own £200. In the last 200 years the RNLI have saved over 144,000 lives and yet they are funded entirely by people like you. They are not government funded.

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