A Titanic-esque struggle against the very angry Solent. And yes, we lose..

30 11 2007

It’s been said many times that sailing is like standing under a cold shower, tearing up money. I’ve always said this was rubbish, as sailing is far more energetic than just standing in a shower. Last weekends sailing took this to the next level, and reminded me of one of those films where the hero (me, of course) just gets continually beaten up and mocked by the bad guy (the very upset and angry Solent). This is, I feel, an accurate analogy as we spent the Saturday being repeatedly kicked in the proverbials by wall after wall of white water. Don’t worry though, I plan to get my own back next time I see something he values, a dolphin perhaps…

Anyway, we turned up Saturday morning planning a decent training session accompanied with some video footage. Sailing out, Jus hooked up to a head cam (N95 in a waterproof pouch again), we were expecting a decent breezy days training. However, as we rounded the headland, we immediately were blown flat in huge winds. 24knots, plus around 3 or 4 knots spring tide made the breeze in open water around 27 knots, with steep wind against tide waves. “Great, ok lets get a few bear aways in and see what we can learn” was Jus’ immediate comment, (censored for public viewing of course). After training for around half an hour and nailing some superb heavy wind bear aways, we decided that it was getting a little crazy and started heading for home. One problem though, we had sailed pretty close to Hurst castle, and as anyone who’s sailed around there will tell you, it gets pretty bad when it’s wind against tide. With the massive waves, we simply could not get the boat downwind, and every time we capsized, we were washed closer and closer to the open ocean. Our only choice was to take the main down, and swim it to a nearby RIB that had driven over to laugh at us. In big waves, we managed to drag the sail down, and I had to swim it over to the RIB who, very kindly, decided to stay as far away from us as is humanly possible. The problem with trying to do this is that sails sink, very quickly. After perfecting a one arm doggy paddle, I eventually reached the rib, and jumped on board to help them roll our sail. After a few minutes, Jus decided to shout at me, informing me that we had drifted a long way off in the big seas and that I’d have to swim back to the boat.

“[censored] Ok, [censored] keep [censored] rolling this [censored] sail, and I’ll [censored] swim back to my [censored] boat. [censored] sake!!!”

Ok, I’ll wrap this story up now, as the fact that I’m writing this is proof that I didn’t die, and quite frankly I don’t think you need another Titanic-esque story. Use your imagination, and watch the video…

OK, more writing coming this weekend!!


Jesus christ lads, you were hooning it!

31 10 2007

Just remebered a story from training in Lymington a few weeks back.

It was a breezy day, withnice big waves and huge gusts rolling down the solent. We went out and trained for around 2 hours. On the last leg, we got the kite up, hit the straps and screamed downwind through the waves, taking off on each on. We gybe dropped to finish the session, and sailed in. On the shore, we were getting the sails down outside of the RNLI station, when a grisled RNLI crewman came out with a huge grin on his face.

“Jesus christ lads! We saw you sailing in. You were hooning it!”

Not sure what hooning it means, but I have a feeling he may be referring to our tendancy to take off at top speed. Thanks mister RNLI man sir, much appreciated.