I have previously mentioned that my dad loves sailing, well he had to give it up at 65 because lifting the boat onto the roof of my mums car was taking its toll… so he took up windsurfing, then after a while gave that up in favour of a power kite (in his 70s by now). One particular memory always springs to mind, dad still in his dressing gown, with his power kite on Benllech beach, Anglesey. He said, “Joy would you mind putting your arms around my waist as the wind seems to have picked up a little?” So I put my arms around his waist, thinking, nothing will move us (I was rather heavy at the time!) anyway, up goes the kite. Immediately we were half lifted and half dragged along the beach!!! Argh!! Thankfully dad lowered the kite down quite quickly and we were back on terra firma. Phew!!!
Anyway, my folks moved to Anglesey when my dad was 79, he bought an old fishing boat that was kept in Cemaes harbour.
After only going out in it a few times because it needed work doing, he sold this at 85.
Anyway, in 2014 he had asked to me to go sailing with him on a 1907 decommissioned lifeboat. Definitely I thought.
So we went out on the 38ft Charles Henry Ashton. Such an interesting experience, powered by oars to get clear of the harbour and then the dipping lugsails and jib were hoisted for a leisurely morning sail. (Check out http://www.cemaesclassiclifeboat.co.uk if you are interested in experiencing it for yourself.)
I’ve only managed to sail on her a couple of times – once spotting porpoise on our way back from the OGA Holyhead Traditional Sail Festival – but she is certainly very different to sailing a modern cruising yacht.