[Maryanne]Poor Kyle is suffering with several new terms and conditions at work. He's not got the worst of it, but many of his flight 'privileges' have been revoked, and commuting is now a whole lot more expensive all of a sudden. This, a miserable winter, and itchy feet have us seeking to leave England sooner than planned, and we are targeting Easter-ish (2011) as a departure date. That is maybe only 6 or 7 weekends away.
As you might imagine, life has suddenly got crazy; lists are everywhere on things to buy, do, to be done, and to check over. Other plans have been cancelled (we were hoping to visit York in March, oh well). Charts need to be bought, routes to be planned, languages to learn/brush up on, and a boat to haul out and paint. PANIC MODE!!!
At least that is how I see life right now.. Thankfully the waters have thawed out, and we see sunshine most days right now (while wrapped up still with hat and gloves). Over to Kyle.
[Kyle]The bitter chill of Winter seems to be finally starting to wane in Northern England. The amount of sunlight is increasing by more than four minutes per day. It’s finally not completely dark when Maryanne arrives home after a long workday or when we make the early morning walk to the train station. We generally take the same train in the morning. Maryanne gets off at Manchester Piccadilly. I stay on until the train terminates at the airport.
Having all of the extra daylight has made it much easier to get on with our winter boat jobs list. I had a large block of days at the boat as January transitioned into February and was able to get most of the major work finished that needs to be done. Since then, neither of us has been able to grab more than a day or two at a time or even together. The remaining jobs seem to be frustrating our efforts to tick them off. Something always comes up that makes them take two or three times as long as they should - we don’t have the part. The part we have doesn’t work and has to be sent back. The new one’s back ordered…
As the sailing season approaches, time seems to be accelerating. We are definitely feeling the pressure of the list and are both keenly aware that, although there is still a lot of time until Spring, the number of free days we each have with which to prepare is almost certainly down to single digits. Next week, I’ll only be home for half a day before it’s time to haul Footprint out of the water. Then it will be long, grubby days for both of us as we work hard to transform Footprint from a grubby, cluttered, slime-stained winter cave to the clean, shiny, freshly serviced ocean-going vessel we love.
The weather has finally reached the point at which is it above freezing most of the time. That and the longer days make it impossible for these two sailors to help but sniff the air and start looking toward the horizon. It feels like it has been so long through this winter since we have been out for a nice sail. We both find our heads filled with dreams of warmer weather and new adventures in strange places. It seems unreal that, before we know it, we’ll be sitting on deck, one hand on the wheel, craning our necks as we check that the sails are trimmed.