Sun 25 May 2008 12:25

The build up training that we have endured so far, has consisted of being cold and wet most of the time. Fighting to get your oillies on and off at watch change, with the added fun of being thrown about in a force 8 gale.  This weekend has proven to be the opposite, lovely flat seas with a light breeze and a gentle swell. With the sun shining all week end! This time it was putting the sun cream on every couple of hours and having the privilege of cooking on a flat cooker!!!



Without much wind we still got loads of good training in, with anchor drills. A refresher of bring the yacht along side. This was nicely done by the Mate Terry. Once clear of Portsmouth harbour and in the open Solent, every one of the crew had a go at driving the yacht around in a nice big circle, under engine to pick a fender up out of the water. This is the main part of the drill used for man over board.  Good reminders of all the things we have already forgotten from our weeks away. We then went over to Osbourne bay to put the anchor down for a cup of tea. Our next chat through lesson was about putting the spinnaker pole up. After we had the chat we split into two teams and we all had a go at setting it up, it took 3 people to lift the pole out. 


After we picked up the anchor we headed for Cowes for the night “Stu the student” or “tape worm” as he has become affectionately known managed to prepare (under close instruction from Rachel) scrummy fajitas in a very hot galley.  Once we had moored safely in Cowes we enjoyed our dinner al fresco style in the cockpit of Adventure. It was such a nice warm evening, it was nice to eat our tea and watch the world go by.




By 0700 on Sunday morning we were all well ‘lubed’ up as protection against the hot May sun. After a deck picnic breakfast we set off to Osborne Bay for more MoB drills.  Under the slow chug of the engine we headed back to Gosport. We had an hour or two with Adventure's fault book out, fixing all the small little jobs which needs to be kept on top of on a big yacht. With the yacht moored alongside her home berth at JSASTC by Rachel (I don’t know what all the fuss is about parking one of these things!!!) it was time to put her to bed (all the sails folded and put away neatly, ropes coiled and water tanks filled) it was then time for the big clean. A good weekend and we can't wait for the trip!!




And from Terry Hackett (our guest Mate for the weekend) …


Reflections from the outside….


I was fortunate in having a SPS study day cancelled at late notice, so I was able to come along as mate for my first time on a CH 67, and a more significant first, the privilege of sailing with Windy for the very first time.


The boat was kept busy alongside with a refresher on the anchor; how to get it out from the forepeak and into the roller and the boat was prepared for sea.  I got my hands on the helm for the first time as we came off the pontoon and back on again.  As the winds were to light to sail it was decided to give the crew chance to helm the yacht picking up a buoy.  Even in light winds, remember the wind line – don’t hoof it up wind!  We then set off to Osbourne Bay, putting a reef in along the way and shaking out again, deployed the anchor.  The windlass now works!


Never one to sit around, there then followed a lesson on rigging the pole.  The three man lift was simple enough in a mill pond.  As the trip up will not be a race you will not have the delights of rigging whilst on the beat ready to round the mark and will get chance to do this for real in slow time, just remember the front end can bite.  There are 7 bits of string that control the kite, add the thee for the no 1 that is 10 in total.  Flying the kit will be fun, just remember to keep them all in board if the skipper starts the iron sail.


Anchor up and into our reserved slot in Cowes yacht haven.  Convinced that you needed a passport the crew stayed on board for the meal cooked  by two of the students, and an excellent meal it was.  There appeared to be a few issues at bed time.  Buy your ear defence in bulk from http://members.aol.com/lucydellearplugs/ before you leave.


Next morning I took the yacht off the pontoon and we headed over to Browndown to play chase the buoy again before returning to the pontoon with Rachel at the helm.


I last saw the crew on the selection weekends and it was good to see first hand how they had developed.  Next time they board the boat it will be for three weeks of 4 on 4 off.  In sailing, you never go to sea without learning something and at the start of your sailing life, it can seem overwhelming.  Richard and Windy will bring you back safely.  Listen to what you are told and ask if you do not understand.  Within a few days the rhythm of the sea will settle things down.  If you see something that needs doing, do it, don’t wait to be asked.  Take every opportunity to learn about the boat and sailing and I will see you on the pontoon as Gosport or as part of Transglobe.


Terry Hackett