For me the Bristol Channel Cutter is the epitome of adventure and exploration, and stuff of daydreams and memories. Summoning up days gone by on board always returns happy days drenched in sunshine, kid's giggles, wet swim gear, and a thousand split second images of smiling faces imprinted on my mind.
Sailing in the Channel here in Tasmania is the closest I can get to real Swallows and Amazons stuff, where round every corner might not have overhanging willow trees but most likely an idyllic little cove that's going to be ours for the best sun-soaked part of the day.
Lazily drifting around the anchor chain, our BCC seems to radiate contentment that infects the crew and leaves us feeling that quintessential time warp that's associated with lazy summer sailing.
Whilst many sailors I meet or read about champion speed or bravery, for me the BCC champions sailors who favour that long lost urge for exploration and endless summer days.
Smelling the unmistakable, delicious smell of our Huon Pine cabin, I savour the way our boat resets my soul, replenishing my energy and eradicating the accumulated stress of running a company on the bleeding edge of technology (we work in mixed / augmented reality).
I can't explain how a collection of wooden timbers in a certain shape can seriously improve my health but I bet I'm not the only one.
I think BCCers revel in the fact she encourages us to slow down, to take time to observe and appreciate. Yes, she has a turn of speed when she wants but most of the time the slow-motion camera we see her through means there's time to grab more of those split-second memories.
I grew up in Scotland, exploring the mountains and moors on a bike or by foot, and the lochs by dinghy. I grew to love the outdoors so it feels a part of me. This love resulted in hundreds of thousands of miles on a bike, and by foot from Canada to Patagonia, and Spain to Korea - sleeping under canvas for more than 3 years of my life in total.
As I get older I realise the importance of this natural connection. The true benefits of this nourishment. And I want to share it.
As kids came along I looked for a way to instil this wanderlust in my kids so that one day it would be part of their soul, and feed it like it does for me.
Which brings me back to hot summer days diving off the bowsprit with a 10 and 12 year old who seem as blissfully happy as their dad.
And the boat that rocks gently under the summer swell is the platform that starts these memories.
My, aren't we lucky.
What do you think?
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