18 September 2014

Dinghy Racing v Morgan Pootles - The two passions.

Saturday's Regatta event began at 9am and continued with three races back to back on the Teign Estuary in a 12 mph breeze from the sea. A beautiful morning with the Kriiyyeee of Arctic Terns in the air. Sundays three races were sailed in a force 3/4 and some long beats and several capsizes for the unwary.
Aching legs from the efforts laid me low for the rest of the weekend but Sea Bass for tea caught by Max should replenish the spent muscle.

If anything beats a pootle in the Mog its the combat of dinghy racing, being tested or bested by friends and rivals in this glorious indian summer.

Moored up in St Ives
Tuesday sees me fully recovered from the weekend and Helen and me take ourselves down to Exmouth for mushrooms on toast at the harbourside cafe and a brief shop for new wet suit booties.

Looking back, feeling fortunate to have arrived just here.
Born 1943 in Bristol with bombs  falling round about; to a mother whose nursing job was retrieval of metal swarf from the eyes of factory workers.
A "blue" baby discarded as non-viable until breathed upon by my mother, not before a good chilling on a cold marble slab. My surveyor father was on the other side of the country and coupons were saved to buy dried egg and bananas. A milk allergy and much vomiting resulted in umbilical hernia. Aged four, my tonsils were removed but shortly after, I was hastily ferried back to hospital due to blood loss.
At 18 wrote off a mini (very silly of me). At 50 my heart missed a few beats. Faltering attempts to keep up in the surf at Porthmeor was the earliest indication of heart block. I was later paced with a battery.  Circumstances then conspired in a perfect storm to send me through two harrowing episodes of despondency. At 55 some nasal polyps required the surgeon's knife,

 At 70 three hemorrhoids led to another minor surgical procedure and a slightly uncomfortable week (one tiny rubber band recovered - two  lost).
Helen will not approve of this disclosure but for what its worth I marvel at the extraordinary medical advances that improve the quality of life.

I treated myself to a second hand sewing machine some months ago and so far have made cushions, roman blinds, bunting, 1 rabbit toy, 3 soft elephants, penguin, squid, 1 nessie,  2 whales, 1 quilt and a sail (for the pram dinghy), 
With orders for more bunting and cushions I shall soon be paying  another visit to the Heathcote Mill at Tiverton.
Lamp newly completed


2 comments:

Chuckers said...

Graham,
Your medical history has an uncanny resemblance to mine, Pacemaker, Transposition of the right and left ventricle but only discovered at the age of 70 unlike yours being operated on as a baby, polyps etc.....
As you know I also have a love of sailing due in no small part to my Brixham ancestry. Our recent holiday in glorious Norfolk for once not in a boat but in a cottage with a couple of Day Boats on two days has really unsettled me and I have actually been considering selling the Mog in favour of a boat...but I think that common sense has finally won the day, although a Post Boat or Dabber would fit the bill I think, to use when staying in riverside locations or trailing up to the Lakes etc.,although my wife Helen thinks that I am now too old for that sort of thing!!
Incidentally, my Shrimper was originally called 'Laura of Foy'.
Chris Gleave

Graham Tapper said...

Chris,
The issue with boats is dependance on good weather to fully enjoy them. Lately we have enjoyed such settled boating weather its easy to forget the rough days. Today I felt very much overpowered in my little dinghy and questioned if its not time to swallow the anchor.
If you were to ring the changes why not consider a gentlemans steam launch? Brewing tea from the boiler and quietly steaming across Windermere has a certain appeal. One I spotted in Dartmouth contained a skipper tanned like a kipper stretched out in the sun going nowhere, just rocking gently against a pontoon.
Graham