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NOT Plain SailingTuesday, 30th June 2015
I may have been sailing for the last eight years, but I’m still struggling to master the basics - when you take me out of my usual nice shiney yacht and plonk me in another type of sailing boat, I become hapless and the boat becomes a mess!?
I spent Sunday afternoon sailing a small one-man dinghy boat at a local reservoir. I arrived at the sailing club with a swagger that befits my skills on a yacht. My friends will probably have been expecting me to command the vessel with my usual confidence and verve, but were no doubt doubly-thrilled when I was overtaken by a local seven year old (though, it has to be said, the seven year old is a remarkable sailor!).
All my years of sailing theory seemed to dissipate into the wind, and each rope I pulled seemed to be the wrong one, sending me in unintended directions and blowing me well off course.
It seemed that this smaller, purer form of sailing isn’t as easy as it looks!
I’m a big fan of having a kitchen, a bed, a toilet and running water at close hand when I am on the water – but there were no such luxuries here. And I prefer boats that are nigh on impossible to capsize, over boats which are practically designed to get you wet.
Of course, there were times when I thanked my lucky stars that I was on a small ship – the boom coming over on the small dinghy made enough of a dent in the back of my head, but if the same occurred on a yacht I’d still have a head-ache now!
The sailing itself was reassuringly exhilarating though: nothing can beat the heeling feeling when you’re whooshing along with the wind in your hair, regardless of the boat you’re on. It was great to get back to the basics of sailing, and is no doubt something I’ll do again soon – just don’t try telling me that it’s going to be plain sailing!