Sun 8 Jun 2008 08:02

Well, not a virgin anymore! I have always thought that being on the sea was not as good as swimming in it, and any one who sailed must be mad. Lesson one, always remember to cast off with sun tan cream and plenty of moral. Lesson two, remember every body else has been through it, and (in some cases) still go through it.


After that was established this ‘land lubber’ had a Health & safety brief from the Skipper (Richard) and was introduced to nautical terms and other phrases which would be set at a fast rate of knots. For months I had been putting the chance to sail off, but saw no other chance to do it, better late than never? Andy was the ‘Watch Man’ of out shift and explained to me the duties I would be taking on. Hard work and plenty of grafting would be the order of the day, not like those cruisers which steamed past us.


‘Cast off’, slowly with the grace of a queen, the Adventure was on its way out of the Harbour, at a snails pace. The team 1 consisted of Emma, Louise, Andy (1), Andy (2) and…. Oh yes and me, Andy (3)! Emma and I helped hoist the Main sail whilst everybody else went on there duties around the fore and main deck, with the other team (2), Paul, Eddie Kevin, Linda, Greg & Tom.

All was going well, so I thought even as we tacked around all manner of dinghies, yachts and other floating debris which seemed to carry on floating even though they looked like they had seen better days.


After a few hours of hoisting, pulling, releasing and all other terms which I have forgotten. I thought that I had a solid stomach, oh what a fool. As we got to the south end of the Isle of Wight the Skipper ordered us to prepare a Yankee 1 sail, this was my queue to unleash some stuff of my own. After regurgitating most of the breakfast and lunch from earlier the day, and a feeling of death was stalking me for another round of ‘what’s in your stomach’, there was more tasks to be done.


Concentrating on refusing to give up any more food to Nemo and his school of friends, we continued to tack into dusk were the sight of seeing the sun set over the Isle was worth every last carrot chunk and grain of rice. With fresh air in my lungs and a glass of water, the ’67 plodded around the west side, whilst each team member told jokes and stories of there first days at sea.

As dusk turned into night the shipping lanes got quieter, and we cruised through the water using the boys as way-points into the next stretch. This went on until we were tasked off to prepare for the entry into the harbour, back to dry land.


However I always thought that all one had to do was get along side an area where you want and just tie off. Well lesson learnt, nope! As all members took to tasks of lowering the main sail, covering the sail up, or preparing to come along side, the nervousness that I had felt about coming onto a boat and the doubts of the day had been laid to rest.


Well even though today is my birthday and I’m now 30 years young I have always felt that the fruit of life was about trying new things and this is most definitely an experience that I wont forget in a hurry.


            If some one is looking to get to know there peers, understand the exact definition of team work and Leadership. Then forget the heaving of your stomach and concentrate on the job in hand of sailing a 50 Ton ‘girl’ with a group of people who have seen the sails and a fresh breeze as a new lease of life! I most certainly will be trying my hand at sailing again.


Cpl Andy Reddy