Jonty Pearce reflects on why it is so important to make time to relax, as he enjoys a lazy passage close to home

An extract from the famous Ecclesiastes 3.1-8 text states:

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”

I hope that it is not blasphemous to proffer a few extra lines for cruising sailors:

“A time to make sail, and a time to reef; A time to anchor, and a time to chill.”

Carol and I have had one of our ‘catching up on administration, house, and garden’ periods.

Twenty years of neglect while we worked too hard at our careers has meant that our home looks a bit like the dwelling of a troubled family from the 80’s; while working, any spare time was spent ‘getting away from it all’ rather than prinking our domicile.

It was no easy job prying Carol away from her list of tasks, but, with the forecast good, we finally boarded Aurial at 2330 on Thursday night.

I had to fit a new domestic battery bank on Friday morning (oh joy) and by the time all was ready we had a delay until 2000 before we could escape from Neyland Yacht Haven’s Upper Basin cill into the Haven proper.

‘Which way?’ asked Carol. Turn to starboard down towards Dale and the sea, or to port under the soaring Cleddau bridge and seek the peace and solitude of the Daugleddau’s upper reaches?

This was a time to chill, not a time to be busy.

We turned upstream under the bridge; dusk was imminent, it was a lovely evening, and we fancied our favourite anchorage above Black Tar.

With the anchor well entrenched in the very last of the light, we turned the heater on and settled down to a very late meal.

As forecast, the morning dawned beautiful, though windier than expected.

Carol’s desire had been to go creek crawling, but after one of her very long boat lie-ins and brunch lassitude settled in and the books came out.

We dawdled the day away in the warmth of the new cockpit tent (AKA the sunroom) and relished the joys of doing nothing at all.

Laziness precluded the inflation and launch of the dinghy with the intention of probing some of the Haven’s secret shallow pills, and we each interspersed our inactivity with the completion of a few minor jobs that didn’t really need doing anyway; perfect!

As the sun rose above the yardarm the Pimms and nibbles came out and we put the world to rights.

Our sailing trip turned into (literally) a battery charging weekend; retirement is really far to busy.

Sometimes it is far better to step back from the pressured urge to get out to sea, fighting the elements to reach some far-flung destination; instead use the boat as a relaxation spa which can be relocated to the prime location of one’s dreams.

Such was this weekend; no tidal calculations, no worrying about cyclonic wind shifts, no calculations of currents and streams.

A proper time to chill.