Boat

The day started bright and early at 7.15am – well early but hardly bright. The rain was coming down in buckets. I decided to use the loo on the boat rather than the one in the marina – no loo seat (apparently for safety’s sake) and quite difficult to balance on in a calm port. No idea what it would be like in rough seas! But at least I didn’t get wet. Breakfast was good – hot porridge and toast. Again, all balanced on our laps, so quite tricky even when the boat is standing still.

After breakfast we were all issued with life jackets, and had to unpack them, learn how to check them out, and then pack them again. Now I know how it inflates when it goes in water! We were also issued with “foulies”. A trouser and jacket pair of foul weather gear. What a performance it was with ten people all trying to get into those in the saloon.

It was actually quite pleasant by the time we went up on deck for our first briefing on what was where. It took some time – there are more ropes and sails than I have ever seen before. As well as all the sails that are carpeting our bedroom quarters. I have no doubt there is a space for all of them.

We then had to learn how to hoist one of the sails up. The winches and the grinders help, but it still takes brute force. And technique. None of which I possess. With the absolute hopelessness I showed in putting that sail up it is a wonder I wasn’t marched off the boat at that point. I was slightly better at winching and grinding – but not a lot.

We did several of all of those still in port, then had soup and bread for lunch, and then set off (with an engine to start with) for our first trip outside of the berth. The weather was a bit rubbish again, so we all had our foul weather gear on – and needed it. This does not bode well for when it is really cold. This is August after all. We then had to put up some sails, and change directions. I felt more like a spare part that part of the team. Some had cottoned on very quickly – although some had some training experience, but it feels like I am last in the class. I just haven’t got the strength for some of these jobs, and I am so fat and unfit I feel completely useless.

We did a man overboard procedure, and Chloe (one of the girls with no sailing experience that had already been up the mast among other things) was winched over the side to collect the “man overboard” (a dummy). She has done so well today – I just wish I could have had her ability. My job today was making tea and coffee – about all I am good for! We rotate in pairs with making breakfast, lunch and dinner, and checking the engine. Somehow don’t think I am qualified for that either.

I think that feeling got the better of me, and when you feel like that there is nowhere but down. I finished off the day thinking that I really fancy getting back in my car and driving home. Once we got back to port we then had to put all the sails and ropes away and put the boat “to bed”. We had half an hour or so before dinner, so I went and had a shower in the marina building.

I hope tomorrow is a better day.

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