Intrepid in the Med


Intrepid in the Mediterranean, is like a middle-aged person who enters a club Ė she has the experience Ė but wonders - is it the right experience? She lies in her marina berth, the mountains rising high above her, slowly swaying to the ripples that creep in past the entrance, listening to the varied German, Russian, Turkish accents wafting past her; or as now, anchored in a picture perfect cove, stars bright, moonlight just about to rise from behind the hill, soft waves rippling gently, 2 French yachts nearby so we hear the soft Gallic tones broken by the occasional sharp retort. Intrepid has seen it all, done it all, she is not impressed by tales of delivery trips from France or Britain, with gales and waves, and she remembers the Pacific atolls and Atlantic storms, and distant Indian archipelagos. .


Then James and friends arrive, fresh from work, ready for a holiday in the Med, but only a week, their schedule wonít allow more. So Intrepid sighs, and accommodates them with good grace, and performs it has to be said magnificently Ė well they said it was the best holiday ever Ė even if they didnít find half the food we left for them, but I think Intrepid enjoyed herself, liked seeing younger people swinging on masthead halyards over the blue Mediterranean and letting go with whoops of delight then climbing back up to do it all over again, the girls dropping quickly into flighty flirty mode, the boys showing off their knowledge and skill and bravado, and Intrepid swooping along under the spinnaker that we hadnít told them was there, overnight passages so they can impress friends back home, and just because they can do it -  with her help.


The real spirit of sailing also helps, the Yamaha outboard, tired of poor quality fuel in innumerable ports from Panama to Suez gives up, and we canít get it repaired in time. We mention this as a by the way over beers at the Navigators Bar, and Pete and Janet volunteer the loan of their outboard as if they did this sort of thing every day (which they probably do). They are a transatlantic marriage, who have sold up everything to live on their boat, which is not always easy when you have health problems, but they enjoy the things they can do, and donít mope about the things they canít, and support each other. Perhaps thatís what sailing is about, there is always a wind you canít fight, a boat thatís bigger than you, a rock that wont move even for the biggest ship, so you go round it.


Now we have Intrepid to ourselves again, she tells us of what went on, we check her systems, and speak softly as we discuss plans for next year and the year after that, what the future holds, and what does this mean for dear Intrepid? She is a good friend, she has her problems but she is honest and straightforward, and once you learn how to listen to what she is trying to tell you, she almost diagnoses herself, so the repair is easy or prevention even easier.


So is Turkey right for her, or where? Intrepid smiles, she will be all right anywhere, but some places are better than others, places where she can be used and enjoyed and kept in the right way, and have fun, not like the poor sad boats we see that lie at their moorings ignored and all but forgotten except as a line in some asset statement and later in a last will. So Intrepid will be used, and if sometimes she is a bit out of her depth she will manage and take us safely home. Thatís what being Intrepid is all about.


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