Brie, Bruises and one Beautiful Boat

A few nights ago we finally got round to buying Di’s boat insurance. It came to Β£80 for the year, including all the usual, plus new for old and wetsuit & gear cover. Β£80! My car insurance is Β£50 a month! I almost got a tiny bit offended that they value our lovely little boat so low, before realising that would be a cretinous thing to be miffed over.

Well after…almost a month of co-ownership, what can I say? I’m in love twice over. She’s awesome. G and I are having so much fun with her, even though the last race we did was the hairiest yet!

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It was a post-work Wednesday race and the start was in the harbour. I was timing and as the 5-minute warning ticked away, around 15 boats were jostling in the tiny harbour. G didn’t even flinch as Merlins and Lasers tacked precariously around us, but I was hunkered down trying to pinpoint every boat, keep an eye on my jib line, and also watch the seconds on the clock.

“How long have we got?” one of the Merlin helms asked, as they nipped past and tacked round behind us onto the start line; “30 seconds…20…10…” All of the boats were lined up along the start, which considering we are all subject to the tide and the wind, is impressive (that’s why G helms and I crew). “Ready?” George rhetorically asked. “No!” We were off.

The harbour gets ‘a bit shitty,’ in G’s words, and the wind can disappear, only to gust back within seconds. This is very confusing for a newbie! Finally though, we were out of the harbour and past the wall. I hopped up on the side with George and we were immediately doused as a great rolling wave hit us. Shaking my head, G laughed as he picked bits of seaweed off me. Then it was back to hiking.

Hiking: Tucking our toes under the toe-straps, we straighten our legs and lean out over the side of the boat to balance her over. A flat boat is a fast boat, and hiking = free speed. Speed is good. Thus, I need to do more squats. Hiking results in bruises…

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It was a really tricky sail, with big old waves tossing our little boat around, especially going downwind. We got a few surfs in, and upwind was marvellous as ever, but after two laps the safety boat whizzed up and told us they were finishing the race there.

Chatting on the way in, G weaned out of me that I had felt a little lost during that race, and thus a bit scared and silly. I should have known it wasn’t just me being sensitive when two boats capsized going round the first mark! He explained, I’d never sailed in waves as big as that, and admitted that he’d also been ‘bricking it’ half the way round, if that made me feel better. It did.

We haven’t yet got the results of that race, but the two races before that – our first, were awesome. Even if the club may have muddled our handicap number with that of a winged rudder 12, so we’d have a better score with that amended.

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But, after a two-hour sailing session with as much hiking as we could possibly manage, we were ravenous. I’m fairly sure the brie and cranberry baguette was the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten…

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