The Knitting Sailor


Endings
November 4, 2012, 10:17 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , , , ,

The year has definitely turned, this morning there was frost on the garden which was covered with fallen leaves  – the end of the year seems to be creeping ever closer.

Today was also an important day for us as it has been the day that my husband’s time as Commodore of the sailing club came to an end.  Following the AGM he stepped down and handed over to the new incumbent.

Having held the position for two years, it is obviously the end of a period in which we have both been heavily involved in all aspects of the management of the sailing club – from the glad handing and prize giving, to the politics and procrastination that goes with any volunteer role.

I don’t really think either of us had any real idea of what it was all about in the beginning, it was the job nobody wanted (and were a little nervous of, given previous events) and it was only with commitments of support from many others that the Mr felt able to step up.  We felt very strongly that the future of the club was uncertain without leadership, and the club was important enough to us both that I encouraged him to take the role – but really, I was unsure as to how he would cope and what it would mean.

Over his time he has brought his own stamp to the role – accessible, approachable and down to earth, he has shown a completely different side of himself than that I knew, and his time has seen the Club continue to stand firm in a difficult time for sailing in the North East.  He has encouraged new blood onto the committee and ensured the inclusive nature of the club is maintained as well as juggling relations with the water authority and the legal entity we operate via.

There have been lots of highs -

  • the annual prize giving – always went well despite the run up stress of making sure all the prizes came back and that everyone knew who won what
  • the rib replacement program – a long drawn out process but working with the treasurer we have a shiny fleet of fantastic boats at our disposal for rescue and patrol
  • celebrating 30 years sailing at Kielder along with the Yacht club – bonus points that we remembered!
  • encouraging Windsurfing and supporting the enthusiasm of one member who has now developed a full program complete with equipment mostly gained from grants thanks to the support of the committee
  • getting approval for the new bar – and financially supporting it by drinking the stock!
  • getting the Water Authority on board with a new boat registration system to make members lives easier
  • actually doing some sailing!  Although obviously this threatened his title of the None Sailing Commodore!

The lows?  Well let’s not dwell on those – but I bet he would say that it was that only a couple of weeks ago a long established member still identified him as ‘Vicky’s Husband’ – he threatened to get a badge made at one point.

His action, hard work and commitment have meant that we still have a thriving club to be a part of, that we are coming through the recession strongly and with some new revenue streams open to us and some great people to take us on into the future.  So it’s an ending of sorts – but also a new beginning too.

So from the bottom of my heart – thank you for wearing the big hat Mr.

 



This is a tourist information announcement for Yorkshire
August 10, 2012, 2:51 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , , ,

Ten reasons why Yorkshire is great

1. No parking restrictions

You parked it where?

2. A somewhat relaxed approach to Health and Safety

Is that really safe?

(That right – giant saw, no helmets, glasses, gloves, shirt hanging out, and I was too scared to photograph when he was stood on top with one leg either side of the blade pulling the wood through – while it was still running)

3. An inclusive and welcoming approach to people from all across the globe

I wonder if they paid them in fruit

4. Great night life

Just a normal Saturday night on Pickering High Street

5. Wool Shops

Fortunately they have plenty of multi coloured sheep in Yorkshire

6. They support the traditional British holiday

Don’t worry – it did rain later

7. Enthusiasm for the local wildlife

It’s OK – I checked and it wasn’t nailed there

8. They have pride in their inventors

Not seen a one of these on any of the Olympic boats – are we going wrong somewhere?

9. They can make you walk on water

…almost…

10. And most of all… they serve great Beer!  (Really?  You need a photo of it?????)

Go visit – and tell them I sent you!



I have a confession to make
April 30, 2012, 6:51 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve been holding out on you.  It’s not that I don’t like you, or trust you not to mock, I just wasn’t sure how to tell you.

You may have noticed I have not been doing much knitting of late.  You may also have found it strange that I have been doing a few courses recently.  This is not usual, but is actually indicative of the run up to the course I completed last week… a Dinghy Instructors course.

I await you re-joining me having climbed back onto the chair you have just fallen off.

Back with me?

I have been an Assistant Instructor for a little while now and last year had a great time teaching small childers to sail (the ones that made it through the first day – I managed a 50% success rate – who knew children could cry that much?) and running some Level 2 sessions (and finding out when back ashore that capsizing with learners is sort of frowned on.   I thought I was helpfully showing them how to put theory into practice).  So when it was suggested I took this next step I was a little, shall we say concerned?

But the Principle seemed to think it was a good idea and surely he knows best?  Right?

I have spent the last six months racked with fear.  Fear of not being a good enough sailor.  Fear of not being dependable enough (all of the other trainers in the club are like grown up responsible people you would trust your {dog / child / house / insert other prized possession here} with).  Fear of really complicated stuff I would need to actually know about.  Basic Aerodynamic theory anyone?  And please just don’t mention airplane wings…..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerodynamics

So how was it?

Highlights

  • Being able to use my backwards sailing on a regular basis
  • Learning what Gradient wind is (go on, ask me a question – 3 ½ hours it took and I am so proud of myself…)
  • Land Drills – who knew sailing was easier without wind and water?
And then you just trip over the mainsheet...

"And then you just trip over the mainsheet..."

  • Showing off with knots
  • Meeting some fab new friends from other clubs
  • Getting to see some of the fantastic presentations done by others on the team – and learning heaps from them (Apparent Wind!  I kind of get that too!  It’s all about vectors … and …. bikes … and … stuff… )
  • Getting to wear all of my hats all at once due to the cold and wind and rain
  • Teaching everyone the 5 essentials song
  • Getting on with my tank top and beer in the evenings

Beer and Knitting

  • Successfully driving and anchoring a powerboat on my own (!!!! I know!!!!!)

Lowlights

  • Getting frozen into my camper van
  • Becoming completely unable to sail when under pressure (Literally.  Just sitting there looking blankly at the instructors in a powerboat)
  • Having to admit the boat floating away from the jetty due to being ineptly tied on was mine
  • The pre-course questionnaire.  Knew that Aerodynamic theory would come into it somewhere
  • Initially thinking that VARK was a type of alien
  • Trying to teach Trigger Pull starts based on only the theory I had learnt the night before…. in no wind.
  • Looking out of the van in the morning only to see this

Really?

  • Taking quite literally no suitable food with me (tea one night was someone else’s left over potatoes and a bowl of popcorn.  This is not the hallmark of a responsible adult)
  • Let’s not talk about my man overboard…….

It was an amazing experience.  And I take my first group of students as a qualified instructor on the 12th of May.

Gulp.




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