25 Dec


Published by ballesterosdm


thought, sports, sailing

It's been more than 9 years since I started writing in this blog (a few more if we take into account its predecessor). Since then, I have written an entry at least once a year. It's already December, and I have decided to do a brief summary of 2016 not to break that honourable tradition.

I could say that 2016 has been a year of changes.

After ten years training Karate, in January I decided to stop. I'm quite sure that sooner or later I will start again, but the truth is that since I moved to London it's never been the same, I had never felt as involved as I was in Gijón.

Anyway, since I'm a bit of an itchy feet, in January I also decided to start training with Premier Tri, a triathlon club in Southwest London. When I went to the trial session I realized that that was exactly what I was looking for, a very relaxed atmosphere that made me feel at home from day one. Obviously, I have improved a lot (I have already done a few Olympic distance triathlons, and next year I want to do my first half), but the main reasons why I keep training it's just this good atmosphere and the good moments... let's face it, I don't have a great future in triathlons! :D

Changes, because in May the former landlady told us that she needed the flat, so we had to move houses. Truth is that we didn't move far from where we were and we are still in Battersea. We are in a much better place now, but economically it's been also a considerable difference. After 3 and a half years living here, and given the price of renting, it's time to start thinking of buying a property, but with Brexit just around the corner, it's worth waiting and see what happens.

Another recurring topic in this blog is sailing. Although sailing hasn't been one of my priorities in 2016, earlier this year I passed the Marine Radio Short Range Certificate exam, one of the steps I need to get any of the Yatchmaster certificates. Without a doubt, the experience of the year, was crossing the English Channel in a weekend (in total almost 200 nautical miles). You can have a look at the track in and It was a very good experience, but much harder than I had anticipated, specially the outbound leg, where we had rough weather conditions and choppy sea, I have to admit that, for the first time, I felt seasick... but it was a bit weird, instead of feeling it in the boat (as normal people do), I felt it as soon as we stopped in France (can it be called soresick??). Anyway, I was OK, after a couple of hours of sleep on the way back.

Well, more things have happened this year, as for instance my first Mediterranean Cruise, but this is already too long.

See you next time!

01 Sep

Round the World Yacht Thrill

Published by ballesterosdm


sailing, trip

Myself taking the  Clipper 60 helm

24th August, 0500 in the morning, the alarm is beeping, the sun has not raised yet and I have just realized that I will spent more time on the road that the time that I have spent sleeping. Why? Because that was the day that I had scheduled to enjoy the Round the world Yacht Thrill that my former colleagues from CTIC gave me when I left the company.

Destiny: Hamble. According to Google Maps arrive in Hamble from my home will take about 3 hours, I had to be in the Marina at 0930 so lets go. I left my home early, I took the bus to Clapham Junction where I bought the tickets for the train... OK, nothing was going wrong, I was on the train to Southamptom, mission accomplished. What?? I have to pay a supplement because I am in the first class coach!! (ok, I should have read the note in the seat, but it was so comfortable....). More than an hour later I was in Southampton: orange juice, coffee, brownie, 45 minutes waiting, taking another train and 30 minutes after that I was in Hamble thinking "OK, time enough". A bit later, I realized that I had to walk about 3Km along a narrow road to the marina. It took longer than expected, but finally I was there, just in time. Sunscreen, cap and everything was ready to enjoy the day.

In the office, a brief explanation about the experience and the next minute we were walking to the ship, an amazing Clipper 60. I had never sailed in a boat as big as that one. Once in the ship, basic concepts about security and we set the sails. Everything was ready to start.

The first 30 minutes I was a bit confused because everyone was talking too fast and I didn't know the jargon, but a bit later I was used to the environment and I really started to enjoy the experience. It was awesome. Nice weather and the wind speed was about 20 knots. We did a lot of tacks and jibes, took reefs, and we also changed several times the headsails (by the way, it was my first time sailing with the staysail)... I learnt a lot of things and also a new set of words to add to my vocabulary.

I tried to find out a way to start sailing periodically in London, but the truth is that I didn't receive useful information. Anyway, despite of the distance and the boring hours on the train, I would suggest this experience, it was great... now I am trying to do it again with some colleagues.

I am sure you don't want me to write about how I came back to London... you can guess how it was.

Pictures available in: the album that I have created in Google+