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marazion - august '98

I can say, (as they do about the rare times when Wales didn't get whopped at the Arms Park) "I WUS THERERE" although not "there"' entirely with the unfettered and abandoned encouragement of those I love and live with, it must be owned. Ian and Neroli were also there, and had been since Friday night, having heroically ignored the rain and dismal forecast of indifferent wind and loads more rain for the weekend, and roughed it (sic!) in the van, somewhere near Marazion. (They should try it in the back of an Escort , say I!). Martin had left at the crack of dawn, and consequently, were out planing, and had been for hours, when I arrived around mid-day. My ears were still ringing with a list of other (slightly less attractive) occupations for the weekend, but it immediately looked worth the holocaust of Brownie Points recently suffered, on surveying the scene.

Bright and breezy, cross shore, and gentle well spaced waves breaking onto clean sand.. picture postcard vista of St Michael's Mount and bay, there had to be a catch. No lurking mutt, bladder straining, apparently been waiting for days for your gear to appear on the beach, no Weston pong, no tar, no sign of rocks at skeg depth; even the car park, complete with affable attendant, café, right on the beach, plenty of space - (where was everyone??) - even the parking rates were reasonable.. piffling even, compared to Lepe! I threw caution to the wind, invested in a full day's worth, and got rigging, pronto.

Although a little under-powered in the lulls to start with, the 5.8 I'd opted for was soon twisting off as best it can, (given its vintage) and the old Vitamin Sea 267 (originally 270) was.. well.. to my taste, anyhow. We where then joined by Nigel and Rebecca, who nearly have a Fanatic 295, but in the event Nigel was to be seen out on an Alpha 295 with a 5.2 sail - just like Neroli's in fact, and savouring his first tasted of waves... lovely waves. Talk about spoilt! (wait till he gets to Weston...), because once the water was down off the shingle, and onto the sand, the waves were well spaced, well behaved and at ninety degrees to the wind! The locals were enjoying it too, and why not, with the sun shining?... and then came the dolphins!

The wind was roughly due west, and although not to be sniffed at, was coming over Lands End to get to us. With more South in it, would have been cross on, and even steadier, but don't mistake that observation for a whinge, because days like that Saturday I'll be happy with, any time. All too soon it was time to suss out a campsite, and I don't know who found it, but they did well. It was reasonable, and I believe they even had showers! It has to be reported that the slot metered taps defeated Martin's best attempts to even get his hands wet, but there was more pressing matters in hand, as the Commodore's state transport was departing for the pub at Ludgvan with all hands on board. Good pub, grub and beer.. the return tummy rumbling contest was a walk over for Ian's back axle on the way home, so one all, I think, but unless the club funds a can of Molybdenum Disulphide to shut it up, we don't stand much chance next time.

Sunday dawned several tads calmer.. but still enough to cause large sails to be shaken out, and a full day's worth inserted into the pay and display machine. Martin set off on the maiden voyage for a new Xantos 3.10 and 8.5, and pronounced it OK; Neroli was powered up on the Screamer and a 5.8; Ian with his 7.9, on (I think) Martin's Equipe, at one stage, and going well. I prevaricated for a while, willing the wind to fill in that bit extra, as it kept promising to. The rain held off, (showers were around, and passing either side of us), but it remained decidedly un-Vitamin Sea-esque. Eventually I also set sail on the Explosion 295, but horror, the 8.5 had a (small) hole in the clew panel, so I had to wallow with the 5.8, or watch from the beach. I soon opted for the latter course, until Martin generously offered the use of a nice crisp 8.5.. Oh yesss!

It is said that all good things must end, and I suppose that applies to Away weekends in great locations when the wind blows... but that wasn't quite it. For an epilogue we agreed to rendezvous at the Compass, just South of Bodmin, and I have dim, but fond memories of an excellent pub meal, washed down with a pint or three of fine ale, in good company. It was a pub of some class, actually, and the only one I know of with a Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig in the car park. Shunning the prospect of a bleary trek up the A30/M5, I had rolled out the bag in the Escort, (as the pig and I hardly knew each other), and went for a stroll in the gloaming, before turning in. The stroll soon turned into a circular route march in a black out along remote lanes and tracks, so when I eventually staggered back, I realised that one of the most beautiful sounds imaginable was the mellifluous snoring of that pig, guiding me back to the darker recesses of the car park. A wonderful weekend it was.

Tony Low

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