This time last week I was sailing through parts of the northern broads with my erstwhile sailing chum and lifestyle guru Henry Holland. Powered only by the wind and a desire for a lunchtime beer we spent the day trimming sails, watching for light air and avoiding shallows. We also talked about life and how to live it. Henry reminded me of a marvellous expression for the type of sailing that we were experiencing, "pinching".
"Pinching" is what you do when you are attempting to navigate the twisting narrow rivers and sounds of the broads. It's mostly to do with light air ( almost anyone can sail in heavy wind, just point and go whilst hanging on with grim menace) and trying to get from A to B with a minimum of effort.
We were sailing 'Fiddler' which was a slightly hopeful boat that had obviously seen better days.
Fiddler wasn't that bothered about pointing and certainly lacked the momentum required to carry us through such notorious light air spots such as the ironically named 'windy corner'.
So we were left to pinch as hard as we could, hoping that we would make it around the next bend without having to put in a tack and thus stop.
All the while we continued to dream about the next time we would get together and do all this and how we would perhaps make that call to the boatyard a touch earlier in the week in order to avoid ever having to sail 'fiddler' again.