The Knitting Sailor


Sailing like a dog
August 15, 2013, 5:51 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , , , ,

That’s what I did last night.  In fact its possibly an insult to dogs.

So back at the Wednesday sailing at South Shields with my nameless Laser.  Since my boat had arrived a few weeks ago I have sailed every one of these and did a couple before I sold the Vareo at the beginning of the season.  But I had a goal. A mission.  I was going to both START and FINISH a race.  So far I have not managed that one with the Laser at least, so I felt this would be a great achievement.  It was light winds – lighter than forecast, so in a fit of over ambition I popped the full rig on rather than my pretty Radial.

Sallying forth off the shore I got myself settled at the front of the deck and faffed on with setting things nice and lose for the light wind.  Brilliant – I was making good progress up into the bay, and nearly looked like I knew what I was doing.

Then a giant jellyfish swam past.

Yes, it looked just like this

Yes, it looked just like this

I thought it looked quite pretty.

Up to the start line and with a bit of sailing around the flag for the laser class went up.  I was very impressed that I had identified this and actually had my watch started at nearly the right time.  There were lots of other boats.  And other Lasers.  In fact as I looked around there were many others (in Geordie that means 4 or above – a couple = 2, a few = 3, many = 4 +, millions = 10 and above).  the start line had a bias and as we got down to the last 20 seconds I was right in the thick of it.  How the hell did that happen.  And I have a boat on each side and a boom in my face and I’m trying to keep in between the two boats without hitting anyone and I really wanted to close my eyes as the start horn went and … I sailed straight into the committee boat.

I had been so busy worrying about the sailing boats I really hadn’t seen that coming.

Well I pulled off with as much dignity as I could manage and sailed off up the course – there was a little wind and as it came over the course I did my penalty turns to ensure that I had shown the proper contrition.

I wasn’t last to the Winward mark – SCORE!

It was a run down to the Channel marker now and off I went – board up, sail filled I was thinking I could turn this around.

The wind came up.  From nowhere.  I know this as the boat lurched up onto the plane and I watched the boats ahead of me hit the mark.  It was a gybe point.  It wasn’t looking very pretty.  Ok – I needed a plan.  First thing, I needed to look at the light wind setup on my boat.  Crap.  I have no 😄 kit and pretty much might as well forget that.  Now I need to think about gybing at the mark.  The boat in front of me capsizes trying that.  OK – I’m tacking – my tiny confidence now totally gone.

It’s a bit messy, but I got the boat round, managed a little on the outhaul and kicker and headed up to the next mark.  By this time I have also realised that one of the first things I should have spent time on with the boat is setting up the toestraps.  Hiking is an interesting experience without anything that you can hook into.  And I can’t stop thinking about the formerly attractive jellyfish.

I am sailing like a total idiot.  Jumping all over the place because I am scared of the jellyfish, don’t trust my toestraps as they are hanging limply out of the other side of the boat and am still trying to get any extra kicker on.  It turns out I am now sailing tight to the mark at the end of the start line to get down to the Groin.  It’s tight but I make the mark… and capsize on it.

I am now in the water with a jellyfish that is going to eat me.  I have never righted a boat so fast in my life.  If there are jellyfish then there are probably other things that could eat me too.  Like Sharks.  Or Seals.  Or Lobsters.

Fortunately the patrol boat have seen all of this and come over to shout some friendly encouragement.  Like ‘why are you going round that mark?’.  Turns out I was going round this mark for no good reason.

There were another two laps to go and I manfully got my arse round them – on the last lap the Groin even put on it’s pretty red light to encourage me.  By this time the patrol boat was also offering occasional shouts of encouragement.  I think they thought I was a little inept.  No idea why.

I finished.  Last out of all the Lasers.  If nothing else I am consistent….

I had a lovely time – but I couldn’t help but feel I was on the walk of shame as I pulled my boat back up the beach.

But I had achieved!  I had started and finished a race!  I had capsized the boat for the first time and got it straight back up!  I had met some new people on the committee boat!

And ONE DAY those people will see me NOT BE LAST.

No rush.

Postscript

I have just horrified myself even more by trying to find a photo of the evil jellyfish on the internet for this post.  

This has confirmed that not only is this a very dangerous jellyfish but also that it can grow up to 40 METERS (Lions Mane – the info is here).  And it normally swims with friends.  I’m never going in the water again.

Post-Postscript

Giant well done to Tynemouth Sailing club who race with us on a Wednesday on their Sport England grant!  Hope you are going to spend some of it on jellyfish proofing the sailing area.

 

Post-Post Postscript

Remember to help me come up with a name for my boat and I’ll knit you something.  Probably not a jumper.



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….!



You might have noticed….
July 31, 2013, 8:37 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , ,

That my blue laser was being polished at Kielder. Not South Shields.

So this left one last piece of the puzzle – to get the boat to South Shields.  We pondered this.  It had a road trailer which the Mr was convinced we would never get out if the ‘stacking’ system in the trailer park – apparently it would take at least half a day.

Twenty minutes later the road trailer was out at the expenses of only several bruises, nettle stings over most of my feet (sandals really aren’t a good sartorial choice) and a couple of gratuitous oil stains on hands, legs and skirt (skirt?!?!  What was I thinking).

And we had brought out beautiful van to tow it! Hooray!!

Only not quite.

Apparently the bearings were shot.  All I know is that it involves grease and is not good.  I suggested we get more grease.  I don’t actually know where the local grease retailer is up by Kielder, but it couldn’t be that far… Could it?

I suggested we asked some other people at the club if they had grease.  This was not an option primarily due to it being a man who was dealing with the grease and as everyone knows you can’t ask for help when a man is already doing the job.  That’s insulting their man-ness.  And it didn’t matter anyhow as the suspension was broken.   I didn’t even know that trailers had suspension.
I did moot the point that as we only needed to move the boat once, did it really matter?

From the silence this received I assume the answer was yes.

This then led to protracted discussion amongst the club about how we could fix it.   New wheel units from eBay, using the trailer from a different boat, kicking the tyres a bit, car topping it.  This looked like it was going to take some time.  Several hours later talk had moved to coming back and looking at it some more next week.

I went away and sent a quick email.

This is my boat being delivered to South Shields by the Boatfixer (and family) as well as tangible proof of why women should rule the world.

It's on a double stacker and everything
It’s on a double stacker and everything
The Laser in its new home - with thanks to the Boatfixer and family!
The Laser in its new home – with thanks to the Boatfixer and family!

I’ll worry about the trailer later – and tonight? Well tonight I’m going sailing.



4.23 meters
July 29, 2013, 12:55 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , ,

I love it when a plan comes together.

Meet part two of my plan….

Look at all the rope and stuff!

Look at all the rope and stuff!

That’s right, it’s a Laser.

And I spent a WHOLE DAY polishing its hull to make it look like this.

Look at the shine on that!

Look at the shine on that!

Think how much faster it will go!

To be fair I think spending the four hours on getting some water time might have been more productive on this front, but in my defence there was no wind.

And it’s got a pink and purple radial sail!  Obviously a class winner…

But why would I need a Laser when I have a Supernova at Kielder already (and yes, actually came out first in the fleet on a recent race – I haven’t told you as I was so stunned I’m still not sure I believe it, but that’s another story…)?

Well this is so I can now sail at both sailing clubs without a 60 mile + tow between the two, and in both venues I will now be class racing against other boats the same – which we agree is a good idea and will help my sailing.  Moving between different boats at each club will be a challenge, but one that I see no reason not to take on as you can be last in anything!

So in simple maths 1 x RS Vareo = 1 x Supernova and 1 x Laser!

So polishing the hull was part one of my refurb plan.  I will also be changing the rope for pink rope (and to be technical, thinner and better rope) and at some point will need to think about that 😄 stuff.  Currently as I am mean and poor this is not an option however so I will instead be keeping an eagle eye out for stuff I can ‘procure’ to jerry rig something similar.  Or knit something.

South Shields… here I come!




%d bloggers like this: