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The Mirror Dinghy Discussion Forum

Season's greetings

2015 has run its course and we hope our members and visitors have had a happy Christmas, Hannukah, Divali, Eid or Nawroz or whatever you celebrate to mark the turn of a year!
In other words SEASON'S GREETINGS!
Which brings me to another topic: what do we call "the season"? I have recently re-read the article on "Small-Boat Sailing" by Jack London, published in the "Yachting Monthly" in 1912. The author explains that in San Francisco Bay, Winter is the best cruising season:
It really blows on San Francisco Bay. During the winter, which is the best cruising season, we have southeasters, southwesters, and occasional howling northers. Throughout the summer we have what we call the "sea-breeze," an unfailing wind off the Pacific that on most afternoons in the week blows what the Atlantic Coast yachtsmen would name a gale.
Now in Jack London's days, a 15-footer was a child's boat and a 30-footer was a "small" boat, but for us in Europe, a series of mild winters is making it possible for us to sail our dinghies almost all year round. In fact, I was able to take a spin around the local lake in light to moderate winds on Christmas day and some clubs hold regattas throughout the year!

Santa takes to the water
Kiley Gooch sailing the first race for the 2016 Icicle race series at BSC on the river Blackwater Essex

Photo copyright by Zoë Nelson

In fact, whereas most of the "big" boats, including my day-sailer, are up on the dry and under tarpaulins in anticipation of ice and snow, with masts down and sails stowed away, a little dinghy is quickly rigged and in the water whenever the weather beckons. When you then get out on your favourite waterways, you'll then find that you've got a lot more free room and don't need to dodge power boats, jet skis and sail-surfers.
So, does the season really begin or end at all?

Whatever your answer, we wish all Mirrorists health and a wonderful sailing year 2016 !


Pete & Gernot

 

Photo (c) 2016 Zoë Nelson
Page updated 15 January 2016