Autumn / Winter Sailing

It's the 19th of September and I am just back from nearly two weeks of sailing round the Channel Islands and North Brittany. We have had very light winds and our biggest problem has been sunburn! Roll forward 24hrs and we have the first storm warning of the autumn/winter season. Storm Ali is coming with the forecast of 80mph winds and torrential rain. Whilst we would not choose to be out sailing in those conditions once it has past there is no reason to stay in the marina. Keep the passages short and choose nice sheltered marinas and anchorages and keep sailing. It is good for the boat and good for you. There is nothing nicer than a sail on a crisp clear winters day. Those of you that pack the boat away for the winter miss out empty marinas, no rafting up and dirty showers and stunning deserted anchorages with only the winter birds for company. If like us, you are lucky enough to have very protected waters like the Rade de Brest, even the bad weather is rarely a problem. We have often sailed when the wind is blowing force 8/9. The Rade de Brest is so well protected that we never get very big waves and there is always shelter not to far away. Most winter boat maintenance can be done with the boat in the water and there is no reason that it has to be done in your home marina. Why not do a bit of that much needed and much avoided maintenance and reward yourself with a nice sail, a glass of wine and a bowl of soupe de poisson!

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