Saturday, 28 June 2008


I've just treated myself to a glass of champagne,for being a clever girl!
Why? Cause I've just spent the day learning to sail.

It has been a terrifying and exhilarating day.
I have been in control of the gyb sail, I have taken the helm. Crewing is definitely easier than being at the helm.

If you are crewing you get to sit in the same place, sometimes leaning out of the boat and sometimes putting all your weight forwards, depending on how the boat is in the water.

There have been 5 of us learning today and I was teamed up with a 17 stone rugby player. I'm 9.5 stone dripping weight. So him plus the instructor in a Laser 2000 made for some interesting hanging out when my co learner was at the helm. Cause when your at the helm guiding the tiller, you have to change sides of the boat depending on where the wind is blowing.

When I was at the helm the boat was more evenly balanced as the other two were either side of the boat. I slipped once and landed on my bottom in the bottom of the boat. I tried inadvertently to capsize us once when I forget to let go of the ropes holding the main sail. I spent most of the day with wet feet in my pumps and a soggy bottom in my shorts.

It is an amazing experience going what felt very fast across the water, although no doubt wasn't by any experienced sailors standards!

It felt utterly horrible this morning when every time I had to tack (turn the boat round) I kept watching what I was doing and then making a balls up of it. Although not such a bad one for a beginner. But this afternoon I got that you had to watch where we were going and then using the tiller came naturally.

This morning our instructor had us standing up in the boat and ducking when the boon came over. This afternoon's instructor made us sit in place till the boon had moved then changing sides. Much easier, but it felt good to have got a measure of balance and know that I could stand up without falling in!

Being in a small sailing boat is like riding pillion on a powerful motorbike, learning to move with the machine without thought, but going with the flow.

So right now I'm excited about going back next Saturday...... whether I'll stay that way through the week remains to be seen.

Can't stay here any longer gotta go practice tying bowline knots!!!!


Walker said...

Well done.
Just don't drink to much champaign while you practice tieing those knots.
You might find yourself tied to the couch, hung over in the morning and no one around to tickle you ;)

I couldn't do it.
I am one of those people who puts on the seatbelt in the boat and if it sinks I quickly become Captain and go down with the boat.

Have a fun weekend

Mei Del said...

hey sounds like someone's having a wicked weekend!

Lady in red said...

brings back childhood memories....there were many weekends spent sailing with my dad

Kaycie said...

Good for you! Sounds like such fun.

Mel said...

Awwwwwwww......the girl got her training to sail over there and loved every minute of it......when she wasn't upchucking. LOL

Oh, the embarassing stories I could share....LOL

<--mom who's earned the privilege!

You just keep having fun with it!

Bollinger Byrd said...

Thanks for that image Walker! But even if there was anyone around to tickle me they'd get a kicking.... I do not like being tickled at all!

mei, wicked is not the word I'd use! I was so aching and knackered I was in bed at 9.30. And this morning considering how fit i am I'm walking round like an old crone with many bits feeling shook up!

lady After yesterday I wished I'd learnt as a child and not the very decreped one I'm feeling this morning. LOL

kaycie, when it stopped being scary it was fun.

mel, just gotta work on my mental attitude between now and next SAturday when I complete the training.

Mean Mom said...

Sounds like you're doing exceptionally well! I really admire you. Paddling in the sea is quite adventurous enough, for me, to be honest!

trousers said...

Feel the fear but do it anyway, and all that - well done you!

I've done some kayaking in France a couple of times which was by turns relaxing, exhilarating and scary. What you're doing sounds far more technical and daunting in many ways though. Good luck with the rest of it x

(oh and thanks for that email, very droll!)

But Why? said...


I am ever-so-slightly jealous. I've spent the morning negotiating the waves and wash and white horses on the Tideday whilst trying to stay clear of the sailors in their rather more robust and beter-suited-to-the-hideous-conditions craft.

I suspect the sailors have more fun...

Cait O'Connor said...

Congratulations, you are very brave!
(I am still thinking about your recent blog and have blogged about it today).

sorrow11 said...

I think i will stick to a canoe...,but you lady _o! Sounds like you have found some serious fun!
Hang on tight!
(you do know how to swim...right?)

CAMILLA said...

Well done BB, I would be hopeless at sailing, get completely sick as soon as my feet touch the boat.

Happy sailing BB, have fun.

Trixie said...

Ooo sounds fantastic! I'm glad you had such a fun time!

Bollinger Byrd said...

mean mum, I,m not sure I don't agree with you!

trousers yep good line. And i'm a sucker for feeling the fear then doing it and then realising that I should have stayed home under the duvet!!

but why, maybe when I get to know what I'm doing I'll have fun, right now it's just nervr racking.

cait, I'm glad you felt inspired by what I'd written, thank you.

sorrow, I can swim, I just don't want to have to!!

camilla, I'm doing this on a lake, not sure what doing it on the sea would feel like, probably nauseaus!

trix, I'll let you know after nxt Saturday whether it's got to be fun or just stayed terrifying!

bbx xxxxxxxx

Exmoorjane said...

Think terrifying is really good - shakes us out of our comfort zone. Though, having said that, you're way braver than I would be.
Glad it went OK and you're still with us.....I used to love tying knots but never did master a bowline for some reason.