Life is returning to the outdoors with a vengence. As mentioned earlier its getting cooler with temperatures a more acceptable 35 degrees or so, a predominately north-west or northerly wind seems to have set in. This moderate breeze brings a welcome chilling effect across a wet body so every effort is being made to get wet! On Monday morning Inge and I hired two Pico's from the yacht club and set out without any real destination in mind. We reached across to the red porthand mark opposite the entrance to the marina then back slightly more north to the coastguard base and as the wind freed us off more, north again to the tiny island resort of Al Dar. A deft raising of dagger boards saw us across the buoyed rope marking their swimming area and on to the sandy beach, surprising perhaps one of the workers who wandered across and offered us water (we'd brought our own). It'a monday morning of pleasure we intend to repeat!
Then yesterday, a sailing trip to Bird Island (last visited on that fateful stormy trip in early May) aboard D'Artagnan with Skipper Ben and Mar. Once there we girls had a lovely swim off the boat and it was great to be able to laze around in the cockpit cooling as we dried. Though we thought we might have lost Mar at one point, she'd snorkled her way to the island and was sitting on the sand hidden behind another boat at anchor! Thanks for a great day out Ben! The sailing could not have been better (except perhaps by being in a boat of my own) - downwind to South Pole then a reach across to the island. A few hours later as a the sun set in a mass of orange dust haze we reached back to the pole and then beat in gusty conditions north to the YC through a stream of dhows heading out to fish. As in the Solent the wind had only a short fetch so the sea was relatively flat, novice sailor Mar had a wide smile on her face as she helmed. Warm breeze, glorious sunset, great sailing - a perfect end to the day.
Plans are being made for longer sailing trips to Hawar 30 nm or so south of the yacht club or if you have a small enough airdraft, possibly right around Bahrain over the forthcoming Eid Al Adha holiday in November. To get under the Saudi Causeway bridge you need less than 15 metres height from the waterline to the top of the mast. Shawa'al may be fine but with our first visitors arriving a week or so before we probably will limit ourselves to trips around the bay or possibly as far north as Amwaj.
If you are wondering where hubby is this weekend - he's speaking at a conference in wet and windy Rhodes suffering the consequences of forgetting to take a coat!