The Knitting Sailor


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!



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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