The Knitting Sailor


The Nelly Name Challenge!
August 14, 2013, 9:18 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , ,

My new boats are currently nameless. I know it the Supernova has Audi on the side, but that doesn’t count – it needs a proper name that shows I love it.

But the names are becoming a little thin on the ground.

Our first boat was the Dirty Nelly – and bought between three couples. As we joined en-mass with an additional assortment of dogs, kids and musical instruments, people used to get us a little confused – so for a while we were just the ‘Nelly Crew’. The ‘Nelly Swimmers’ might have been more appropriate as that seemed to be the sole result of any activity with that particular boat. And from that time on every boat any of us has owned has had a ‘Nelly’ name.

But as eBay affectionardos this means names are becoming a little tricky due to the sheer number of boats we have been through.

So far we have had

The Dirty Nelly – Enterprise

Knot on your Nelly – Osprey

Nifty Nelly – Flying 15

Nelly-phant – Concept 302

Nelly Afloat – Laser

DiagoNelly – RS Vareo

InternatioNelly – Laser

InfferNelly fast – Flying 15

OccasioNelly – Wayfarer

There was also the camper van – the Nelly There and my leaving present from my last work – a pirate galleon appropriately named Nelly Bankrupt. Trust me – the long winter nights just fly by.

It was a class leaving present

It was a class leaving present

We’re now the only Nellys left at the club – having lost the rest of the crew to golf, biking and big boat sailing – but the big boat sailors kept the faith with the yacht calling it ‘Kandula’ – referencing that famous war elephant – so a posher Nelly! You can read about the exploits of that set of Nellys here.

So the question is – what do I call the boats??? Over to you – whoever comes up with the two names I pick, I will knit something for over the next six months.

It might even not be a scarf, but I’m not promising….!



Extreme Sailing!
August 12, 2013, 9:05 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , ,

Over the last few weeks sailing has gone from one extreme to the other.

From glorious light wind, sunny sailing at South Shields

Nearly no wind, but lots of sunshine!

Nearly no wind, but lots of sunshine!

To blowing crazy amounts of wind at Kielder.

That's really very windy

That’s really very windy

I’ve not actually finished a race at South Shields in the new Laser – this is primarily due to things like not starting the race, not completing even one one lap of the race (we all got towed back) and spending too long tinkering – so far the new boat has been the lucky recipient of a new (*ahem* E-Bay special) tiller and tiller extension, some new rope and a clew strap. She is feeling very loved.

She is sailing very nicely, but I have yet to have her knocked over to have a go at capsize, and haven’t really had enough wind to feel like I am really getting to grips with her. I was however deeply gratified when a club member commented how well looked after she was based on her shiny hull – that four hours polishing was obviously not a waste….

I’m also getting to know a few more people – when I was out on the water I have had comments about my pre-loved boat and also from a fellow sailor form Tynemouth who obviously reads the blog – Hello Chris!

Up in Kielder its been a totally different picture.

This was the start line for the Dam to Dam. I love this race series as it takes you from one end of the lake to the other – but it wasn’t to be.

One half of the start line

One half of the start line

DSCF2426

The other half – three boats made it out

It was so windy when I tried to put my sail up my boat actually blew off my trolley. I decided this was therefore possibly not the best time to sail. Alec the mad Engineer decided to press on.

Just call me Bananaman!

Just call me Bananaman!

I even sat on his boat to try and keep it in one place while he finished rigging it. There is a photo. I’m not showing you as I look like a house in it.

He eventually got out, but after much swearing came back. He wasn’t the only one – out of the three boats that started one came back like this.

It used to be a Miracle

It used to be a Miracle

The mast had been ripped out, smashed in two and holed the boat. It’s the Boatfixers, so we all feel super bad as he is so busy with other peoples boats goodness knows when he will have a chance to fix it.

I was however very proud of myself to have even had the bravado to rig the Supernova.

And I have had her out a bit more properly this weekend – she is a lovely boat and goes like a crazy thing on any sort of a reach – there are some extra things to think about in the mast rake, and pointing is going to take a little practice (common thing for newbies apparently), but when you are screaming along to the next mark on the plane you really don’t care about the next beat anyhow!

So two beautiful boats, two fabulous locations – what could be more perfect? Well neither of these boats have names. And I can’t just keep calling them ‘boat’ forever…. so tomorrow I will be opening the Nelly Name Challenge. There will be prizes so watch this space!



“So cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a fox…”
June 3, 2013, 10:41 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , , ,

If you remember my cunning genius plan was to sell my Vareo and buy a new boat – and currently it’s well underway. Its getting picked up at the weekend, having been sold on eBay. Some people can be a bit sniffy about this but the bottom line is you get your boat sold quickly for what the market is prepared to pay for it, so you can get on with the rest of your sailing season.

So I went to look at a new boat this weekend. This didn’t go so well in that this quickly changed to touching new boat, stroking new boat and identifying that new boat and I were always meant to be together, swiftly followed by buying new boat.

It’s on my drive. I am very excited.

I am just as excited as I am suddenly ‘one of the gang’ people with the same boat are excited about it too and discussing when we are all going to go sailing together and how we are only one boat off our own class start. We are messaging exciting news about the boats and our sailing, texting and facebooking.

I’ve never been one of any gang, ever! We are all going to a coaching day next Sunday and going to inspect each others boats and do tinkering! We are going to stand around and talk about it all together! We might even get them wet! It’s we and not I!!

So far so good. Only problem is, I’ve bought a boat to sail with a fleet at… Kielder! Looks like I’m back racing there again! So I am still on the lookout for a cheap boat (for cheap boat read floating wreck based on the pennies I have left…!) to join a Wednesday fleet at South Shields.

And the boat? Well someone has to encourage the Mr onto the water – I’ve bought a Supernova, the same as him.

Its not a car, its a boat.  Honest.

0 to 60 in not very much time



What I did on my holidays
April 25, 2013, 11:12 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , , , , ,

So its been a while!

Since I last posted I’ve been to Ecobuild – great fun as always, and I even got to get there on the new Emirates cable car – its amazing so go visit if you get the chance!

Wooden

You too could live in a house like this

He was there again... a true celebrity he didn't give autographs

Meet the Dulux dog

There was a sheep as well

It spelt ‘WOOL’!

Scary!

Arriving by cable car

I survived the dual of the gennakers at the Spring Splash, primarily because I never got mine up.  The third week at South Shields was glorious. The sun was out, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky -in fact it turned out the weather was so good there wasn’t enough wind to sail against the tide. Racing abandoned. So we all tinkered instead!

It was hot too.....

Apparently no wind and tide are a bad combination

I fitted my new thinner main sheet, an extension to my outhaul and in a final touch of knitterly excellence some fine laceweight camel hair yarn to my shrouds – excellent tell tales and super attractive. I discussed this as I was doing it with my rival Vareo sailor. He seemed a little disinterested….

In pink of course

New outhaul for actual sail adjustment

Not pink.  The man in the shop was unimpressed when I stated this as a purchasing requirement.

Thinner main

Also not pink.  I don't understand why I bought it in blue.

Blue camels donated this beautiful tell tale

After a cup of tea I emerged from the clubhouse to identify why. HE WAS LEAVING!  I literally chased after him only to discover that he was finished and heading back to his home club – despite there being another 3 races.

I was – quite literally gutted. And therein lies a lesson. Don’t tell people how you are making your boat better – you will only scare them off.

The week after, everything changed – the wind howled, it rained, it was freezing.  Racing was abandoned.

Week 5 I couldn’t go as I was at Kielder for a committee meeting, and sailing did take place – damn!

Week 6, well between the snow and the sub zero tempratures and the artic wind… racing abandoned.

So effectively I sailed two races. On the plus side? I beat a topper!
On the downside? Everything else beat me!

So not a roaring success, but holding up there with last years significant development (not being last).

You might be wondering what hardy geordies are doing wimping out of sailing in too much wind. Honestly – the weather has been horrific. It’s been across from Siberia and basically meant everyone is sitting in their house eating chocolate (ok, maybe that last bits just me…)

In other news, the NSRC (Non Sailing Rear Commodore) has bought a boat.

He’s even sailed it (once!)

His next plan is to race me in it.

It’s a Supernova. Think he thought it came with champagne.

We went on holiday in the middle of the worst weather for as long as we can remember to north Northumberland.  It snowed every day at least a little and we used the time to tour lots of castles.  We came to the conclusion that not building these any more was why Britain is not so great anymore.  Couple of castles would sort it out.

Only one of lots of castles on the coast round here

Lindisfarne – so much colder than it looks here

Should we have an identify that castle competition?  I've loads more photos....

Bamburgh

So we stopped with the castles and started with these... all downhill from there...

Tank Defences

I also did some knitting, finished a shrug, knit a headband to keep the wind off and knit and then pulled out a hat.  I don’t want to talk about this too much though as you will identify that they are essentially all scarves that I have sewed together….!

What every good knitter needs

My own design and everything

There’s a lot of other stuff gone on in the world, the Boston marathon, factories collapsing in Bangledesh, earthquakes in Sichuan.  I’m not qualified to talk about any of that stuff, other than to say that it makes you appreciate what you’ve got.

So I’m off to reknit that hat, and polish my boat ready for the May Open.  It won’t change the world, but it makes me happy – and life’s too short to not be.

 



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



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….



It’s Raining
November 26, 2012, 8:50 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , ,

I understand that it’s no Superstorm, but it’s not stopped raining for pretty much three days now.

We aren’t flooded, but most of the rest of the country is, and it turned into the reason I didn’t go sailing yesterday.  I was all prepared.  I was going to take my little boat out to play with.  Not to race, not to teach, not to end up crewing for somoeone else because you feel guilty that they can’t sail without crew who hasn’t turned up, not going in someone else’s boat because a Vareo is not really a cruising boat (and you get dizzy sailing round and round the front and back of the fleet as the cruising boats make their way to the picnic point over several hours – a distance DiagoNelly is capable of in mere seconds (especially with the kite up and even with the inclusion of the inevitable swimming).

No, I was going to take my boat out and sit in it for a bit and maybe survey the lake.  It was the last ‘official’ day of sailing, so there would be hot lunch after and probably some banter.

It was raining.  A few of the roads on the way were already closed.  It was too windy for me to sail, going from the forecast.

I went to the beach instead.

The dog enjoyed it




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