When I woke up this morning I realised I must have sorted my bed out, because I hadn’t slipped out of it all night. Result. Had to nip to the loo early – must have drunk too much water yesterday. On this lovely calm boat in the harbour as I sat in the little zip up loo compartment the saying “pump as you dump” flew into my head. Apparently, when the boat is swaying and jumping up and down it is best to get rid of anything in the bowl as soon as you can before it comes back up and hits you!
Today I am the “engineer” with Kristof. He is very capable – I am very much the spectator. If anything went wrong with the engine I would have no doubt that he would be very able to fix it. He made me go down into the lazarette (a little room though a narrow hatch at the back of the ship, where brooms and buckets etc are stored) to check the steering system. It was OK going down (well – Okish!), but no way could I get back up without either a step ladder or something to stand on. Kristof had to get down the hole and I stood on his knee to get out. All in the calm of Gosport Harbour!
We then had a “Man Overboard” drill – Ed went first to rescue “Bob” from the pontoon. As there was little chance of getting wet this time, and because no-one else volunteered, I took the opportunity to have my go. I got the “Pants of Power” on (the harness) and got myself hooked up with the ropes. Over the side I went – just like when I abseiled down the maternity block in Ipswich! Somehow my feet didn’t stay flat on the side of boat like they should – just like when I abseiled down the maternity block in Ipswich too! They slipped off, I was dropped down and ended up between the boat and the pontoon – not a safe place to be. “Bob” would have floated off by now if we had been at sea! As he was still on the pontoon, I did manage to get hold of him, and we were both hauled up. Another job that I think I have managed to do very badly, and won’t be asked to do again!!
We had a short “Ocean Meteorology” lesson. It seems weather patterns and reading them are one of the most important factors in setting a course. That can make the difference between getting stuck in an area with no wind, being blown backwards or going ahead at full steam. Winds blow in different directions depending on if you are in the southern hemisphere or the northern hemisphere. Wonder how that works when you are right on the equator? I have no doubt I will find out – twice! But I think there will be no storms on my trip – I have ordered fair weather and slight seas all the way!!
It started to rain – had been absolutely beautiful up until now. Oh well – I am sure there will be a lot worse to come. It was a little windy – we were told the good news that these “70’s” boats have a far steeper angle than the “68’s”. Oh goody!! We did another man overboard when we got out to sea, and unfortunately Ed went almost all in the drink. Nothing to do with me – I was not the one holding his ropes! I think “we” made a complete arse of that man overboard drill. The skipper did not look amused! After a few more tacks we started to head back to the harbour.
When we had tied up and were putting the sails away, I saw Tom from Level 1 on the pontoon. He was then starting his Level 3 course on another boat with Nicky and Chloe from Level 1 as well. Shame we were not all on the same boat! Got told off for talking – like being at school!
I got back on board and helped to put the sails away – there seemed to be an all female crew at this point. Not sure where the men were! After dinner everyone seemed to think they had had a bad day, so we all went to the pub. Answer to everything! Bumped into Rick from Level 1 in the pub, who has been doing a coxswain course, and is due to start his Level 3 on Monday. Small clipper world.