The Knitting Sailor


How many people does it take to sail an open?
February 24, 2013, 7:36 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , ,

 

So last time I posted it was with the disaster that my boat was missing vital equipment  (something to steer it with).  But I didn’t give you a full post – sorry – and I’m really impressed with the detective work (DEREK!).   Turns out you can find out anything on the internet…..

So to get to the South Shields six week event, the Boatfixer had brought my boat back from Kielder.  This had then been follower with the Mr helping me get the boat from Newcastle to our place and spending Saturday re-rigging to make sure everything was A-OK.

So Sunday came.  It was a perfect sailing day – actually better than pretty much all the sailing from last year which had been cold wet and miserable.  My boat was quickly rigged, and there were lots of other enthusiastic people about.  The boat was ready – and so was everyone else’s – easily a dozen of mixed class… and there was another Vareo!  Wow – someone to copy off learn from!

It was 14 degrees, the sun was shining and me and the winter cake layer had even ventured forth in my wetsuit!  At the briefing we found out about things like shipping, tide, the channel, rocks on the entrance / exit to the club and big floaty things to mark the channel – which you could sail round as well.  I had no idea what the course was, but that’s never a problem as I just follow everyone else anyway.

And we were off.  Everyone dashed down the sand to get launched.  Except me.  Who was missing a tiller extension.

I don’t know how I had left it – I hadn’t put it on the boat the day before as it just flicks around and gets in the way when you are doing other stuff.  I couldn’t believe it.  Everyone else left.  I sulked a bit.

There were some other people about the club so I asked about spare extensions (I know – any other ideas!?!?) – and we found a couple… but none with the right attachment.

It was about this time at the point of maximum peed off-ness that my brother arrived.  He had come to watch.  (or mock – I uncharitable thought at the time).  And the next thing I knew he had jumped back in his car and sped off back to my garage to pick up the tiller extension!

I stopped huffing about now and instead felt guilty that I had doubted his motives.  I also realised I was going to have to give him the £3.20 for the Tyne Tunnel toll.

So I spent the time taking a few photos and trying to identify the course (no joy).

Mouth of the Tyne inside the harbour walls

Committee boat wondering why they are a boat short

IMG_1248

Even a topper made it!

 

By the time my brother got back the second race was well underway.  But I didn’t care.  I fixed my tiller and boldly marched my boat into the water.  And after much to-ing and fro-ing got out of the club (I only ran into the underwater rocks once).  I was sailing on the sea!!!  In the sun!!!

I headed up to the area within the harbour that everyone was sailing in and sailed about a bit.  I felt a bit like one of those baby lambs when they have just been born – I was wobbling a lot and totally overreacting to movement on the boat – who says sailing isn’t like the Hokey Cokey?  There were what I originally was calling waves but apparently were swell and you could go whizzing along with them.  There were birds sometimes coming and shouting at you and the views were amazing.

I was completely tentative and I wasn’t out long before everyone was heading for home.  But had I enjoyed it?  Totally.  And my little bro even took a few pics to prove it.

You know you have the best brother in the world when you end up able to sail

So this was a very different experience to my previous sea sailing – and there are definite advantages in how ‘solid’ the wind is – Kielder is a myriad of shifts, puffs, shadows and gusts around a hilly and diverse landscape – whereas I really felt that once I had figured out the other stuff the level of consistency that you can get from this would be of real benefit.

I also need to remember to use my SMALL sail all the time – I am always tempted to put my BIG sail on for the POWER.  The power is no doubt great, but far too much for me to handle.  And no – I didn’t get the kite up!

 

So – only another 5 weeks to go.  My goal for next week?  Find out what the course is.  Turn up with all the correct equipment.  Start a race.

 

Oh, and pay my brother that £3.20.



Quiz Question
February 17, 2013, 2:47 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: ,

Boat

Anyone see what’s wrong with this?



UH OH!
February 16, 2013, 6:19 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , ,

So essentially I’m pretty much all out of excuses.

This is my boat.

Home Sweet Home

That’s right a combination of the BOATFIXER and my Mr has got it down from the Lake and delivered it to my drive.  Friends are all you need.

The weather is looking totally reasonable.  It doesn’t even look like it’s going to rain.

Untitled

Hmmm. No easy out there then.

I’ve checked my boat over and only found one small issue (a hole in the deck – I fixed it with some Pritt stick.  To be fair it’s not actually fixed.  Pritt stick doesn’t actually fix boats) – but it’s good enough to sail tomorrow.

The screw thing has come out of the hole thing and now wont go back in the hole thing as the hole thing is now to big for the screw thing.

My kit is in a heap in the kitchen.  It’s all there.

I have had Facebook advice.

“Suss out the tide before you launch, STAY UP TIDE before the start, when sailing to a mark look behind as much as forward or take a good transit and STAY UP TIDE of that line, when nearing a mark STAY UP TIDE until you are clear or you will hit it. It’s easy to dive down tide but takes forever to claw back up.”

I love this the helm of Frakka… how do I admit I don’t understand it???  I know it will be wise advice – this is from someone who goes to Europeans and all sorts.  Tide?  Really?  Oh dear.

Turns out no one else I know is going.  So my first travel of the year is solo – although it’s also only 20 miles away.

My aim tomorrow?  Turn up.  Rig the boat.  Get round without drowning.

So thank you (I think) for making sure I have no excuses!

So wish me luck – Fingers crossed I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow.



Who da man?
February 15, 2013, 3:14 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , ,

Got a boat that’s bothersome?

Do you find your trailer troublesome?

Can you just not be arsed to pick up your own boat?

Then why not call….THE BOATFIXER!!!!

At reasonable rates and with the ability to make your life seem much more perfect, then who you gonna call – THE BOATFIXER!!!

This is the boatfixer winning many prizes at this years prize giving – he’s a lush sailor as well as doing beautiful boat fixing.

(have I done enough to justify my boat pick up yet?)



South Shields Splash preparation
February 15, 2013, 7:37 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , , ,

 

Things I have done in preparation for going sailing on Sunday

• Asked on facebook if anybody else is going

• Thought about it a bit

• Checked the weather forecast from my desk – this involved both checking a website and looking out of the window, so a lot of time went into this.

• Done sit ups at least twice to get myself in peak physical condition

• Eaten some cake to make sure I am warm on the water with my extra layer of winter cake fat

 

Things I haven’t done in preparation for going sailing on Sunday

• De-grot and chase mice out of my boat

• Collect said boat from the lake

• Work out how to fix the tyre on the road trailer that has got broken over the winter so that I can collect my boat from the lake.

• Check over and re-rig my boat with kite etc.

• Pulled out my sails and inspected to ensure they are nice and sparkly

• Worked out how to get to the sailing club involved.

• Entered the regatta

• Read the sailing instructions

• Gone through and sorted out my sailing gear

 

So I am obviously SOOOO prepared!

Anything I’ve forgotten?

 

South Shields Splash



Fooled
February 5, 2013, 6:33 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , ,

As we know, scarves are off the menu, but I have got really excited about knitting a little shrug this week – it’s a really pretty lace pattern from Ewetopia (don’t you love yarn shop names!), and its knit side to side which really shows off the graduated yarn.

It was all going well until my husband spotted it.

Isn’t that another scarf?

No – it’s a shrug.

Looks like a scarf.

Well to be fair you knit a big oblong and then sew up the ends so I can see his confusion.  In fact I don’t understand how I have ended up knitting another oblong – even when I was really trying not to.

It gets worse.

 

It’s got sequins on it.

Sorry.

It just LOOKS like a scarf



Windshift
February 4, 2013, 6:27 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , ,

There’s that moment when you finally get everything right, your boat is running smoothly up on the plane, you have a good line, enough room from others to think and your boat is flat and you’re working hard enough to know and to feel the water hit your face and your legs are straining, but you have it and its perfect.

And then you see it.

The grey wind shadow moving down the lake which you can’t quite see from your angle over the side.  But you know the terrain, you’ve been here before and you know that any minute now it’s going to slap into you’re boat and you will have to react, you don’t know how – it might be something or nothing, but every part if you is poised for it, ready to make a move, haul in or jump back in the boat, knowing that even then it might not be enough.

I can see that shadow right now. Between work, sailing and personal I can feel my hand tightening on that sheet already and I’m holding my breath. There is so much about to hit this week – I have team meetings which I am not fully prepared for due to a number of unexpected gusts of other things that have popped up on the work front, I’m away in London the end of the week and then have two days on a safety boat course over the weekend.  I know it will be fine, but I’m panicking a little about fitting everything in and managing anything successfully.

Worry about this is the first sign of needing to get back out on a proper boat, where actually it is as easy as just trying not to fall in.  So my boat is coming back with me next weekend and I am going sailing at South Shields in their Spring event the weekend after.  Definitely.  Without fail.  Regardless of weather and the fact it’s on the sea.  And I don’t know anyone.  And I haven’t sailed for ages so I’m setting myself up to be embarrassed in front of strangers who will then think I am incompetent.

Strange – this week isn’t looking so scary all of a sudden….




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