The Knitting Sailor

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.


‘Zebra Boat’!
May 24, 2012, 2:43 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , , ,

Saturday is my last session of teaching childers and I am feeling a little sad already.  None of them have drown, they can all sail better than when we started and I feel like I have been at least a little responsible for that.  I wonder if they will remember any of this when they get older and become Olympic Sailors, Sailing Instructors themselves, or even just Sales Managers that sail on a weekend.

When I was little I remember learning lots of skills and they have all played some role in who I am today.

My first experience of the water was learning to Windsurf.  Unsurprisingly I wasn’t much cop, but my Dad used to take myself and my brother to the Lake District for a week every summer, during which it rained torrentially and I spent more time paddling the board round than Windsurfing.  I loved those holidays and remember even now the life skills I learnt from them.  These included valuable things like ‘don’t touch the wall of the tent when it’s raining as the water will come through’ (nope – three summers on I would still do it and just get wet for the rest of the night), ‘fishing’s great as long as you don’t catch anything‘ (how scary is something wriggly on the end of your line – I stopped even using bait after a while) and ‘don’t wee in the lake – it’s your dinner‘ (Pot Noodle, lake water and a primus stove being key to our diet at the time – I later discovered my brother had never heeded this advice).

I also remember learning to knit – actually with my Nana – although my Mum used to knit too.  This was on weekends spent at their bungalow and I remember having worked through a mound of brightly coloured acrylic finally producing a small stuffed clown.  It had taken what seemed like forever, and I was really proud of it, but I can’t even remember what happened to it once I finished it – did I keep it?  Give it away?  No idea – I just remember the sense of achievement I had on finally completing it.  But I don’t remember ever knitting again following this until I was a lot older and started a new job and made a knitting friend who got me hooked.

At this point I guess I should round up by saying ‘and I remember when I started selling stuff’ – no such luck – and no doubt why it is a more hard-won skill – as it has its roots in nothing I learnt when I was young.

So whatever they go on to do I guess I can take some small pride in the hope that one day they will fondly remember sailing round and round a patrol boat trying to come up with a sailing term beginning with ‘z’…..

And I still have this Saturday…..

%d bloggers like this: