The sun is shining but it is still chilly on the river in the NE wind, I keep reminding myself that soon we will be escaping to perpetual summer as we sail first to the Med, then the Carribean and on to the South Pacific.
This morning, as we drove out on errands I noticed that spring had arrived, people’s gardens were full of daffs and trees were beginning to blossom. My mind has been so focussed inwards on the boat, I had missed its coming. As a gardener spring is usually the most exciting time of the year and that it hadn’t crossed my mind, has taken me rather by surprise. So I have put on another layer and am writing this in the slight shelter of the coach roof and looking outwards.
This part of the Itchen river is very industrial, so there are not many signs of spring here, however there are plenty of things to see if I you look. There is the constant buzz and activity of small ribs passing by, the odd yacht braving the cold and the sound of a sander as an industrious owner readies his boat for the summer up on the hard. There are dozens of swans on the mud flats newly exposed on the outgoing tide, a cormorant is diving for its lunch and hundreds of seagulls everywhere.
Watching the seagulls is fascinating, the pontoon we are tied up to is made of concrete and always full of empty cracked muscle shells, this puzzled us for a while, until we saw its ingenious cause. The gulls tussle with the muscles that live on all available surfaces just below the tide line, once they have wrenched one free they fly over to our pontoon, hover about twenty feet up and drop the muscle onto the concrete. With the shell now smashed open they can feed on the flesh inside – clever birds.
Raya has really come together over the last week or so, the salon is now back in one piece, the new electronics are almost finished with the Iridium satellite dome going on as I write and the heating and plumbing are all funtioning. The two fore sails are up and rigged, the main sail has been altered and will be bent on again, as soon as the wind drops and the deck, that was sanded and recauked in the shed during the winter, is having the last few areas finished off. We now have an operating wifi network, so we have internet access and all our devices are linked up and hopefully this afternoon if I can motivate myself to leave this sunny spot we will have a connected printer. And that will mean, I will be able to finish off the accounts this evening, oh joy!