This tiny clip is probably best watched in full screen mode, but don't hold your breath for a plot. It merely represents a moment of surprise and pleasure, when the little electric pod did everything I had hoped for it, but with even less fuss than I had expected.
At this point we had already discovered that the boat would float. Always a good start. More than that, the centre-board pin was not leaking. More good news. But all of this is to get well ahead of myself. Not unusual.
I was standing outside my workshop an hour before this with a gusty, enthusiastic northerly busily rearranging what is left of my hair. I'm thinking; 'I'm going to test the results of a year of work in this?' Plan A was just to see if she floats, with an extension plan based around seeing how much I had stuffed up the installation of the electric pod. My lack of confidence was to be dealt with by the presence of a petrol outboard, to save face and give an impression of someone who knows what he is doing if the pod fell off, or fizzed excessively, or failed to move the boat against the wind or current, or jellyfish or some other obstacle sent by the powers that conspire to keep my ego in check.
They all failed. Everything worked.
Which meant that getting on with sailing would have to be the next challenge.
By the time we launched the wind had magically fallen away to a lazy blow, the sun was out and she had been rigged easily within 20 minutes- and I was being slow, precise and careful, it being her first time and all...(without the outboard and with some practice this figure will no doubt improve, especially if I feel like moving a bit more quickly).
I decided that given the morning's anxiety about gusts, I'd start with motor and lazy mizzen, progressing to jib and mizzen if all went well, but the idea of raising the main was not given much consideration until after about ten minutes of relaxed sailing in a gentle breeze, up went the main from the comfort of the cockpit, and without leaving my seat. Such luxury.
I was absolutely gob-smacked (after the luck of having such success with the pod) to find that all systems worked, and despite my own short-comings as a sailor, Annie was having a lovely time anyway.
She was a delight. Tacked easily despite me, light on the helm, lots of nice places to stretch out a naked foot and wiggle the toes in sunlit sheer delight that I was alive and THE DAMN THING WORKED. Arm over the coaming, breeze in my face. Jib furler easy and very helpful, main sail pulling us along, despite the pod, even in a very light breeze.
One or two gusts came out of nowhere, and there I was with two sheets in one hand, my son on the phone in the other, and the mizzen seeming to just let me do my own thing without any great demands on my attention, when all of a sudden, I looked up to the main that seemed suddenly very big and quite capable of something very powerful, and Annie said 'stop curling your toes in the sun buddy, there's plenty about me to see yet. I've got wings and I've got lungs and if you play your cards right we'll have some fun....one day'.
Julia and I had a really lovely, lazy sail, and then I had a blissful potter on my own. Love it.