The way life tends to work, is not every thing always goes to plan. This in mind, I knew very well that I was not going to nail every tick the first time. And oh didn’t I fail spectacularly at sailing on the first attempt (take a look here for a good read, even if I do say so myself). I didn’t wait too long before I licked my wounds and got back on my bike, erm, boat.
I picked a different sailing partner this time because a) my lovely boyfriend went and crippled his knee, and b) well, if I capsize a catamaran with a different passenger then I will take full responsibility for sinking the ship. Let’s see how we go.
Now, thinking back to the last adventure, where more time was spent in the drink than counter balancing a surfcat catamaran, surprisingly I have retained some good points of note when at the wheel:
• Stopping/slowing: Let go of the sail rope, or completely pull in the sail rope. Do not panic, let go of the rudder (which is apparently called a tiller in sailing, I’ll keep saying rudder), or begin to cry for fear of capsizing. This will increase ones chance of capsizing.
• Going: Wind direction is key. You want to sail 90 degrees to the wind to promote high wind power. Use the little flag at the front of the sail to determine wind direction and speed.
• Turning: Turn away from the wind. You will need to swap sides of the catamaran when the sail begins to turn. Be prepared. Do not sit pretty waiting for magic to happen. Magic won’t happen. You must swap sides. 2 people plus high wind power on 1 side of the catamaran will cause the boat to capsize, trust me, I know.
• Advice: When those running the business recommend staying away from certain areas. Stay away from those areas.
All this in mind! Learn to sail bucket list adventure: take 2!
Apparently today I am straight in to it. No chance to stop and think of what’s going on or to freak out. Nerves happen. I don’t know why I am nervous because I have already spent a reasonable amount of time in the river on the last occasion, and how can it possibly be any worse than that? The wind is significantly weaker this day and we start off at a nice leisurely, McNerry is happy and comfortable with this, pace. My friend treats the lack of wind differently, and begins to start rocking the sail boat to promote propel. This sends my nerves through the roof. The rocking stops after some stern words through gritted teeth… politely of course…
I finally get the chance to play around with the sail when we start noticeably slowing. Let out the rope, let it in, move the rudder around, find the happy place that will continue to move us further away from solid ground. Eventually, we are stopped, no closer to the shore in either direction, without even the tiniest whisper of air to aid in our movement. I couldn’t have picked 2 more different days to sail if I tried!
The hour of our hire continues on much like this. A small gust of air gives us enough propel to manoeuvre a turn and we skim along at a 3 year old on a tricycle pace. We are jealous of the lady stand up paddling beside us. She is moving much quicker than us. Can we borrow your paddle lady?
On our final turn and move back to the shore, we attempt to sail parallel to it to pick enough pace up to fly ourselves back in. We are pretty much just as unsuccessful as every other attempt we have made thus far. The flag on the sail concretes what we were expecting: there is just no wind.
With lack of any other good idea of how to get back to land any other way, my mate lays on his belly, slides himself forward and begins to arm paddle us to safety. I neither refute this nor help to paddle, rather just continue to attempt a speed pick up by moving the sail, in vain.
Overall, I have definitely experienced sailing in it’s two most extreme. First time a little too exciting, second, too boring. Maybe one day I will find the happy medium! Maybe one day I’ll get my ass on there alone.
For now, consider it ticked! I held the reigns the whole time, and am confident I can sail the thing solo if need be! I may not be able to turn a capsized boat, but I sure as hell have learnt not to let go of a capsized boat, and hopefully, how to prevent said flipping of sail boats in the future.
On that note, good day xx