This year has been a real mix of tough sailing and glorious moments. The tough sailing continued once in home waters: setting off from Southampton in grey blustery conditions we hoisted the main and managed to ‘lose’ a reefing pennant inside the boom, in sorting this out we failed to spot a lobster pot off Calshot. Disaster as the plastic container, together with chain and rope wrapped itself around the rudder and immobilised us. No problem, we’ve dealt with this before … but not in the middle of a busy shipping channel. A call to the coastguard and Mons Meg – a small but sturdy little sailboat – came to our rescue. Pulled into wind, we were then able to drop the mainsail; we then started the engine and made our way very, very slowly dragging the dead weight along with us to the Hamble River where a local diver came out and cut us free. The glorious moment: we got to Salcombe and had a truly lovely day with very dear friends in wonderful sunshine. All our traumas forgotten!!