Monday, 15 February 2010
DNF: The Next Sailing Installment
Here is a picture of the correct way to 'right' a capsized dinghy with the assistance of a rescue craft.
Obviously you climb onto the hull, grab the centreboard and attach a rope, then, with a bit of 'oomph' from the outboard motor, haul the boat into an upright position. Simple. Except that it is definitely. not. that. simple.
Now, you remember that Himself has a new boat? And that there is still the issue of crew? You can hear this coming can't you? Yes, Saturday saw me donning my attractive sailing attire and heading out to Brighton for another bite at the sailing cherry. What was I thinking?
I am not a sailor. I think we have established this. I am not a sailor's small, left toe. The most sailory thing I have ever done successfully in my life was singing 'All the Nice Girls Love a Sailor' whilst tap dancing and brandishing a mop. I do not understand wind. I have no concept of the difference between 'on' the wind and 'off' the wind. I thought a sheet was something you put on a bed. I have only recently started remembering that port means left (thanks to the husband of my dear friend Prof J, who taught me that there was 'a little red, port LEFT'...very clever!). When Himself asks me to 'get the telltales flying' or to 'let the sidestays go'.......he might as well be speaking French. I don't think I am a natural.
But, I am a loving wife and I know how much it means to Himself to get out there on a beautiful February day with a moderate 8-10 knot seabreeze and a new boat. I know he needs to see what it can do, to discover it's pecadillos, to test his skills against the equipment and the elements. And so I went.
The weird thing is, I kind of 'get it'. I mean, I don't get sailing per se; but I do get the passion for pitting yourself against the elements. Those of you who know me in real life know that skiing was my passion. These days, my move back to sunny SA has meant that the costs of travelling to the Australian snowfields are prohibitive and so it is 15 years since I last skiied in real snow, with the icy wind in my face and my knees groaning in protest at the rapid procession of moguls slipping beneath my skis. The sense of achievement you get as you finish the 'black run', exhausted, legs like jelly, face blotchy from the cold; I get all that. And my first taste of yacht racing hasn't left me.
After the infamous December 19th experience, I was not able to put the memory of the race out of my head. Like the childbirth I so flippantly compared it to, it haunted me. I thought of things I could have done better. I thought of ways I could have made it easier. I thought of doing it again. The pain, the fear, the exhaustion were forgotten and the thrill of finishing and surviving remained. I felt I needed to give it another go.
But it's getting late and it's school tomorrow. I'm going to leave you with a few shots of the process of 'righting the boat' so that when I tell you all about it tomorrow you'll have some concept of what I'm talking about.............
Step 1: climb onto the centreboard.
Step2: Apply pressure to the centreboard with your weight.
Step 3: The boat will slowly but surely right itself.
righting the boat