Sailing

Apr. 17th, 2017 05:05 pm
jpgsawyer: (Default)
[personal profile] jpgsawyer
So I went sailing and it was awesome. I went down to Polkerris Beach, http://www.polkerrisbeach.com/ and went on one of their one and a half hour Wayfarer Taster Courses with the very excellent Simon, who reminded me of David Batty from Antique's roadshow.

I was nice and early as is my usual way and so I got to set up the boat and learn about rigging etc. I was rather pleased to learn that a knot I know very well is indeed used for reefing a sail. As we put a reef in the sail. All of this brought back a lot of memories of watching the America's Cup and the 18foot skiff racing that was shown during the lunch break when watching the cricket growing up in Australia.

Once the boat was rigged we went back to the boat house and I set about working out how to put on a wetsuit (which I think was one of the harder things of the day) and kitting up in some spray proof kit we launched the boat and off we went. There was a good onshore breeze so we had to tack out of the harbour, so I got a quick lesson in what the crewman does during tack and controlling the jib.

I spent a while learning about trimming the jib (the sail at the front) and keeping the two bits of string on the outside and the inside horizontal and we discussed the physics of how the boat behaved. We also managed to go quite fast and got up on the plane, with us both sitting up on the side leaning right out. Rather fun actually.

Mostly I was just focussed on keeping the sail trimmed and not seeming too stupid or doing something like falling out of the boat! Simon was excellent, he was calm and obviously a really really good sailor and I got a little more confidence as we tacked across the bay.

I was feeling happy enough that when he said, right now you are going to sail the boat I didn't panic too much. So once I managed to get hold of the main sheet and the tiller in the approved dagger handle at the chest fashion, off we went with Simon trimming the jib and making sure I stayed aiming at the approved target. So off we went on a reach and once I got the hang of not looking at the tiller as I tried to steer and then stopped fighting the tiller and started steering with the sail we started to go quite well. We even managed a tack.

Then we learnt something that I was pleased I knew the name of but wasn't sure what it did, we heaved to! That was turning the boat with the main sail but not the jib and pushing the tiller right over. This was so that Simon could remove the reef from the sail. So we could go a bit faster and also the wind had dropped a touch. Simon said it was also because he was happy I could get across the boat fast enough not to cause a problem. And yes the boat was a bit more exciting, we really got moving and after simon check out the boat I took control again and was having a fabulous time reaching along close into the wind and moving quite well when boom we fell off the wind and it all got a bit sketchy as I scrambled into the centre of the boat. We finally settled the boat had a bit of laugh and got sailing again. When I asked what I had done wrong, Simon simply laughed and said "Nothing, we just fell off the wind." We might have seen it coming from the sea colour but its not always possible.

So it went from their we did a little running with the wind and I got to crew a jibe which was ummmmm EXCITING but I kept my head low enough and it all went swimmingly. So after picking up the safety boat driver we entered the harbour with just the jib up and it was over.

A fabulously exciting and completely absorbing 1.5 hours. I was completely exhausted but a fabulous thing to do and yes something I will be looking at again.
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