The cold has begun to bite, the trees have stepped into their glad rags and I have a spicy dal bubbling in the slow cooker, autumn is well and truly here!

But, as the warm smell of cumin and cinnamon permeates the house, my thoughts are turning once more to the sea. The sea in winter, wild and wicked or calm, crisp and supremely peaceful. Those unbelievably blue days when you stuff your hands in your pockets or wrap them around a hot cup of tea and breathe out plumes of dragon breath. Today Mr TS has tootled off to Portland Marina to prepare Chiron for cooler days. He has taken home crafted draft proof bungs, a dehumidifier and instructions to check that the heating is in full working order because I have a little plan to spend Boxing Day on board and every time I think about it I hug that thought to my heart – Christmas sparkle reflected on water, how perfect would that be?

We’re hoping to get out on the water over the half term holiday too but today I am reflecting on a summer well spent and why I love sailing with kids – if you missed part one of our sailing adventure you can see it here.

There are some hairy scary moments when we are cresting the waves, surfing along on a 42 foot board, trying not to fall off, everything is tied on or tied down and I am winching, winding, steering and trying not to let the children see me panic. I love the adrenalin rush as we battle the sea and I love the sense of relief as we reach calm waters and put the kettle on but this summer was mainly kind and I loved:

Watching her lean over the side, trailing her feet through the waves and squealing as we whizzed along

Sailing with kids

Little people doing very big things

sailing with kids

Being in charge and feeling like it is the right place for me to be

sailing in the Solent

Them teaching him new skills

learning to row

Him actually relaxing

relaxing at Portland Marina

Chatting and jellyfish spotting on a very calm day

sailing with kids

Quiet time spent just thinking with no plan or agenda and no distractions

sailing with kids

Swimming on new beaches and getting a helping hand over the spiky shingle

Brixham beach

Big people finding their feet and embedding sailing skills

sailing with teens

Unparalleled night time views from the water to the land

Torquay wheel at night

But this shows you why I go again and again and why I never tire of it (even if I grump a bit), why I will carry on when the children have grown and gone, why this is a place where my heart is happy and my soul at home.

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