Going to Windward

The last 3 to 4 days we have had great sailing going south with 20 to 25 knots of wind from NE/NW. These are ideal conditions for fast, downwind sailing. Helming a 40’ catamaran in these conditions is a great experience. Sailing downwind the boat is stable, it allows the ladies to sunbathe on the trampoline between the two hulls and the men to steer the boat and drink cold beer without spilling it.

There is an old saying that says ‘Gentlemen don’t go to windward’. They used to get the crew to take the boat back up wind but today on Ulysses we have to sail back against the wind and tide. The sailing term for this is ‘going to windward’. The skipper had us all up at 6am and we planned bacon rolls on the move. Choppy seas and strong winds soon put paid to that so it was cereal and fruit only.

We sailed all day tacking occasionally and slowly making ground. We took a brief stop at Goat Island for lunch and a bit of respite from the constant buffeting. We eventually made our scheduled stop at Macona Inlet on Hook Island. We arrived slightly later than our agreed time of 4 pm which the charter company insist on. Darkness arrives very quickly in this part of the world and they like to know that everyone is safely anchored well before darkness comes.

Swim, cocktails, dinner and an early night. It’s been a long day.

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The campsite is based near Beccles in the Waveney Valley in Suffolk.

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