gypsy on the thames

The trees now dwarf the little craft
And Tina prays for wind abaft


But soon it blows right on the nose
Til into Buscot Gipsy goes

On again she sails through shady ways
Just stealing breezes through the glades

achieve. So to Buscot Lock, again beautifully neat and with a friendly lock-keepress. Ian was there too – turning up like a very welcome good penny with his camera. Off again: the sailing now more arduous, with wind right on nose, and much more tree-sheltered waters. The river opened out, and Gipsy began to fly, but suddenly Kerbang! the mast nearly brained me and I floundered under a cloud of sail. The rope for lowering the mast had snapped!

To add to the excitement, the wind became decidedly blustery and the boat slewed across the river with a huffing puffing granny struggling first to knot the rope then to push up mast and sail. Luckily, there were no passing boats at all. I got the mast up, only to realised I had not included the forestay in my knot. I lowered it wearily, puzzled over pulley routes, then up again. Sailing short tacks with a piece of rope you no longer trust as a forestay is not