Well this is a little late, but I decided (on the grounds that Louise is being a bit tardy) I should write a little more about our Competent Crew Course with Southern Sailing School…
a route around the island
While the boat was nowhere near as shiny as many of the other equipment on the Solent, It was clear that we had the opportunity to put the Phoenix to good use! It was very hands on, and we enjoyed and withstood all the weather had to offer – including a first night, late night traverse up the Bewley River, and truly tropical rain at Bembridge.
My personal pleasure was being asked to (and succeeding) in laying out and navigating a course to circumnavigate the Isle of Wight! starting at Yarmouth, and finishing at Benbridge (clearing the entry bar by about minus 6 inches!) – it was GREAT fun and very satisfying! You can see my sketchy notes above, and once I had managed to translate the scale on the map to real life – (overrunning my first waymark within 2 minutes!) We were off – and while Duncan insisted we experienced no more than a 4 – later experience on Moody B included a “force 6” that was considerably calmer than our rounding of the needles – a really good day’s sailing!
On the other side my biggest failure was successfully “lassooing” a bouy, but forgetting to hold on to the damn rope! Ejit!
After six weeks solid nagging from Malcolm I have finally been persuaded to write about our experiences on the ‘competent crew’ course. Not sure that this will be of benefit to anybody, but hey – here goes.
Arrived at the school at teatime on Sunday. Felt mostly nervous and this wasn’t eased any by being the only girl amongst a fairly motley selection of blokes. There was ‘hairy Malcolm’ who we all know and love! John, an older chap (well older than us anyway) who seemingly had lots of experience. Ian, a very organised ex military police person now working in the NHS and Duncan the skipper who looked very chilled dressed in beach bum/surfer dude/not yachty sailor type togs.
Following the formal paperwork we were all dispatched to load the boat with food, clothes and other important stuff. We were given a safety briefing, sleeping arrangements were made and we were off. Too scary for words!
Well, that was fun!
Dawn on the Bewley River
Louise and I decided to go and make sure that we really all DID like sailing, and took a competant crew course wih Southern Sailing School…. and It was good! 5-days on the
Phoenix of Broadway with Captain Duncan and two other students (John and Ian) we toured the Solent and circumnavigated the Isle of Wight and returned more knowlagable, slightly burnt and with a clearer view on what Befur needed. (comfortable bunks, non-smelly heads, etc.).
It’s clear we have passed the point where “camping is fun” and we need our creature comforts.
I will leave it to Lou to comment more fully…