The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Happy Holidays From Phyllis & John

Once again this holiday season the world seems to be a tad messed up, so once again I have been wracking my brains for some positive stuff to write about.

Wait, that’s easy, when the world is “going to hell in a handbasket”, as my mother used to say, think boats:

On that note, while clearly the pandemic is far from over, people are out sailing and cruising again. Great to see cruising boats back in Atlantic Canadian waters, including friends who stopped by.

And Phyllis and I finally got our new-to-us J/109 in the water and sailing last summer. We didn’t go far, not even outside of Mahone Bay, but rather, after three decades where getting somewhere was the driving force, rediscovered the pure joy of sailing. It was magic.

And what a great boat to sail. The J/109 is, just as we hoped, very fast, super responsive, and yet easy for the two of us to sail, or even me alone. A huge relief that we seem to have got the right boat for our needs.

Another super exciting thing for me is the progress that Maxime has made on the Adventure 40 project, with a successful first funding round and a preliminary design done by Vincent and his team.

I have kept an arm’s length relationship with the project, acting as a sometime advisor, reporter and moderator of discussion, which seems to be working well, although I’m sure some of my bright ideas have caused many colourful outbursts in French—probably just as well that I’m a stupid monolingual anglo who doesn’t understand that language!

Brace yourselves, guys, I have nearly finished the interior reveal articles. Just a few suggestions…

In non-boat, but still good news, Phyllis and I took a short road trip with longterm friends Wilson—he of the varnish perversion—and Thelma to the Chignecto Peninsula, an off the beaten path, but absolutely lovely part of our province.

And a few weeks later Phyllis and I were on the road again to Ontario to spend time with my daughter, her husband, and our two grandchildren, as well as Phyllis’s sister and niece. A wonderful family time.

I will close with something that has been making me feel better when I start fussing about the state of the world:

I’m a huge fan of Ian Rankin’s detective novels featuring the tortured, but fascinating character John Rebus. In the latest book, set in the present time, Rebus is long retired from Police Scotland and far from well, with COPD and all sorts of other health issues from a lifetime of cigarettes and booze.

At one point, near the end of the book, his erstwhile colleague and longterm friend, at least when she doesn’t want to kill him for interfering in police work, Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke says:

Everything’s f….., isn’t it, John. I mean that’s how it feels to me. Brexit and COVID and christ knows what’s coming at us next.

A few paragraphs later, after Clarke has left, Rebus recalls her remark, but then goes on to think about the new music he has just bought, the good bottle of single malt in the cupboard, the dog at home who loves him unconditionally, and the invitation just received from his daughter and granddaughter for Sunday lunch—their relationship has never been easy—and decides to “focus on the small victories”.

Perhaps a good way to think.

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