Although my initial interest in sailing came from sailing with the churchwarden, which was only a few sailing sessions, and he was usually sexually intrusive during those trips, I quickly progressed, while still living with him, to sailing elsewhere.
I joined a sailing group, and for a long time I didn’t know they met every week but thought that meetings and sailings were only as advertised, so I missed out a bit.
But I had my first real Big Boat sail with them, to Guernsey and overnight there.
Andeventually, when I knew sailing was available every week, I got enthusiastic, dinghy and big boat sailing, and lovely people who took away some of the pain of the churchwarden situation.
I was sometimes simply too tense to be on a dinghy with others, so sometimes I would go on the guard boat, which was great fun, a little RIB, high speeds and sharp moves of course! 🙂
Then there were trips to France and chausey on the yacht, I always knew with all my heart that I was very lucky to be able to share in these trips, and now that the distress has cleared a bit, I can treasure those times.
I was delighted to be able to do the States-run dinghy training courses.
I was more nervous of the other people on the course so every evening I was wracked with nerves.
The courses were run a week at a time, every evening and at the weekend for extra practice, and though some of the others would go in the club for a drink afterwards, I had no interest in that.
It was a question of going down to St. Aubin’s harbour and either walking if the tide was out or waiting for the RIB if it wasn’t, for the course every day.
I did level 1 and 2, which were offered at St. Aubins, and would have done level 3 with the qualified instructor who I used to borrrow a boat from for my solo practice.
One of the complications of my course was that the churchwarden had a boat at St. Aubins, the boat I used to sail with him, and he and his wife and JM accused me of stalking him because I was down there, which was very much JM false accusation style and very upsetting, and I told JM that there was ample proof as to why I was there, but she wouldn’t reply. It is funny how many times she refused to read my side of things once she got in with the Dean and churchwarden couple, even though you have seen her emails about how the churchwarden had done wrong.
I wonder if she was told he had a history?
Anyway, I felt I was permenantly on trial with her accusations, hence my defensiveness and trying to cover every single thing with the disinterested diocese.
Anyway, back to sailing, there was a bit of ego on the first course, but in the end we were all doing well and working well, and we all passed level one, and it was fun.
Level 2 was tougher, and I was frequently out solo sailing on a borrowed boat to try and ‘do my homework’ in my spare time, I felt a bit useless and incompetent and not in control, but nonetheless, I survived level 2.
What amuses me to remember was that we had three people with huge egos on level 2, so much that they hadn’t bothered with level 1.
One was a girl who claimed she raced dinghys with her ‘partner’, but she couldn’t gybe, and I said to her ‘Is that how you gybe when you are racing?’
Now that sounds sharp but she had spent the course bossing the rest of us about and boasting, but I could gybe because I practiced frequently on my solo work, and she couldn’t.
She lost a peg or two and went on the other boat after that! 🙂
The other two who amused us all were a really very puffed up couple, never sailed but decided level two was a better boast.
they came onto the boats stating how they were ‘members of the yacht club’ and had been voted in, did they need reminding that all new members need voting in by a proposer and seconder?
And so it went on, and we had to hear of the foriegn countries and all of it, a bit like the Lihous, that desparate insecurity that attempts to belittle others. I guess it is human nature, we all do it a bit, as the instructor quietly said.
But these two were hard work, sandals showing not nice feet, and their real fear of sailing that led to them not wanting to do certain exercises so they let the rest of us do extra, which was fine, me and the college lad from level 1 were getting on well and by then we were doing a lot of the work, there was also a lovely tutor from one of the secondary schools on the course, and he was good to talk to, so it wasn’t all angst.
We used to finish when it was getting dark at night, and then we had the treacherous landings and berthings sometimes. 🙂
The weather was very tricky during level 1 and 2, with level 1 frequently becalmed and level 2 too windy, hence the Saturday exercises to make up for some we had to call off during the week.
The boats we sailed were Lazer Stratos, and they had lead weights to stabilise them, and the instructor said that this made them technically small yachts rather than dinghys, but they were dinghy enough. lovely boats but not singlehanders. The lead weight was supposed to make the boat uncapsizable.
I used to sail a Pico for my solo practice.
During the very windy spell, we nearly managed to capsize an uncapsizable boat! the gusts of wind were too strong and we were heading back in, a gust caught us and we had to go about, a bit out of control and with the inexperienced couple terrified and panicking, the rest of us brought the boat under control but there was a lot of water in it!
So, we passed level 2, and I went on to start training for level 3, solo, but 2010 with the collapse of my world and health meant I got into serious difficulties out on the water, and that was the end of my sailing.
I now cannot sail due to the lack of control and movement in my lower back and legs, I can’t make a boat go about and would be a liability.
More sailing posts another time.