Great Britain

‘Buying a boat during the pandemic was the ultimate lockdown legacy’


westerly wind is ripping through the foresail while sheets of grey fall from leaden clouds above. To starboard, a freight ferry seems to be careering towards us en route for the industrial docks of Harwich, and I’m suddenly aware that I can no longer make out the channel-marking red and green buoys – fingers of fog have descended and I neglected to put my contacts in this morning. 

So far, our first passage aboard Elle – the 32ft Hallberg-Rassy my partner Rich and I are tentatively moving from Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex to Woolverstone in Suffolk – is proving far from plain sailing.

But before I can start questioning the returns policy on our 30-year-old cruiser, a curious grey seal appears just port off our bow, his mottled head bobbing up unexpectedly in the salty surf. Soon, another whisker-filled face breaks through the whitecaps. Then another. We watch as two, no three silky sea dancers surface to say hello. And, just like that, I stop fighting the terror of our first ever sailing and start enjoying it. Because this, I realise, is what I’ve signed up for: learning to embrace the rough with the smooth, one of nature’s most valuable lessons. We’ve all just stopped listening.

Football news:

Arteta on Ozil: It is always sad when such a figure leaves
Alabai will move to Real Madrid in the summer. The contract for 4 years is agreed, the salary is about 11 million euros (Marca)
Stefano Pioli: We will look at the table in April. For Milan, every match is the most important
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Together with Mandzukic, we will scare the opponents of Milan. He signed a contract
Milan scored 43 points in 18 rounds - the best result since the 2003-04 season. Then the club became the champion
Aubameyang scored a double in a Premier League match for the first time in the season. Parti's first assist for Arsenal
Chelsea want to buy Holand in the summer and are ready to break their transfer record (The Athletic)