At the Helm
Wow it Was MAGIC out there today!!! SUUUUPER intense rush experiencing 2 hours at the helm, fighting the wind through a small lightning storm! The sail at full mast and full roller furling bulging out so hard from the wind the yacht would lean right over into the water while I fought against the wind that kept trying to suck us into its vortex or push us right over. It really felt like we were just going to fall over because the water was licking the rim. After a while I couldnt even stand upright it got so severe, I was sitting down on the other edge while steering and pushing my feet out to get a good grip. The wind was so temperamental the skipper and Jeremy were waiting on command to keep moving the sails, tacking and jibing the roller furling (or flip the massive front sail from one side across to the other depending on the wind) which was also at full size. Inbetween they’d sit back (on the side I was also leaning into for safety) and enjoy the rollercoaster ride while I sweated bullets.
Having only ever done the grunt work up until today it was exhilarating and liberating and dead frighting to be at the helm, especially in this weather without any helm experience. The ropes were so taught I could hear them groaning as we galloped at crazy speed over the swells. There are so many things to worry about, for example when turning if you dont keep an eye on the wind that the main sail doesn’t collapse and flop, the boom can come from holding the sail out across the water to suddenly come swinging at incredible speed right across the boat and knock people on the head or right off into the ocean. The skipper who ran the course is definitely a daredevil who takes racing seriously and often wins which I love! But he still has a tremendous respect for the ocean and never takes risks over the edge, though it seems he will ride the risks and comfort levels right on the bleeding edge to get maximum speed. He has a reputation for being the only person at the club out sailing come hell or high water and today was no exception. We were the only ones out there today getting drenched with huge smiles on our faces. I got to experience all kinds of sailing weather and winds over the past 4 days, even sailing in practically no wind.
Thanks to Paul Dennett and his hands on approach I freaking LOVE sailing!!! He’s absolutely obsessed with sailing in a very fun way and that kind of passion is very infectious. Although the Competent Crew course I did was supposed to be very basic, knowing how to do the grunt work, knots, general safety etc, he seems to be happy to stretch a student as far as they want to go and Im pretty damn sure that Jeremy (my step-dad) and I were doing a lot of in-depth skipper training as well. He wont dumb it down even though we were total newbies and at the same time isnt impatient if you dont catch onto something immediately or even a bunch of times. Eventually it all makes total sense and becomes completely intuitive. Today I missed breakfast, lunch while we sailed for about 6 hours and except for my somewhat dry top half was drenched, freezing cold and didnt care. I just wanted to sail.
Of course when I got home the first thing I did was grab a ready to eat banana and jumped right into the shower. As I stood there munching the steaming hot water slowly revived my completely numb fingers and toes while I squealed every few minutes with happiness that a day like today really happened. Can’t stop grinning!
I love it at the helm. Love it love it LOVE it!!
November 2013 / October 2013 / July 2013 / June 2013 / April 2013 / March 2013 / February 2013 / January 2013 / December 2012 / November 2012 / October 2012 / September 2012 / August 2012 / July 2012 / June 2012 / May 2012 / April 2012 / March 2012 / February 2012 / January 2012 / December 2011 / November 2011 / October 2011 / September 2011 / August 2011 / July 2011 / June 2011 / May 2011 / April 2011 / March 2011 / February 2011 / January 2011 / December 2010 / November 2010 / October 2010 / September 2010 / August 2010 / July 2010 / June 2010 / May 2010 / April 2010 / March 2010 / February 2010 / January 2010 / December 2009 / November 2009 / October 2009 / September 2009 / August 2009 / July 2009 / June 2009 / May 2009 / April 2009 / March 2009 / February 2009 / January 2009 / December 2008 / November 2008 / October 2008 / September 2008 / August 2008 / July 2008 / June 2008 / May 2008 / April 2008 / March 2008 / February 2008 / January 2008 / December 2007 / November 2007 / October 2007 / September 2007 / August 2007 / July 2007 / June 2007 / May 2007 / April 2007 / March 2007 / February 2007 / January 2007 / December 2006 / November 2006 / October 2006 / September 2006 / August 2006 / July 2006 / June 2006 / May 2006 / April 2006 / March 2006 / February 2006 / January 2006 / December 2005 / November 2005 / October 2005 / September 2005 / August 2005 / July 2005 / June 2005 / May 2005 / April 2005 / March 2005 / February 2005 / January 2005 / December 2004 / November 2004 / October 2004 / September 2004 / August 2004 / July 2004 / June 2004 / May 2004 / April 2004 / March 2004 / February 2004 / January 2004 / December 2003 / November 2003 / October 2003 / September 2003 / August 2003 / July 2003 / June 2003 / May 2003 / April 2003 / March 2003 / February 2003 / January 2003 / December 2002 / November 2002 / October 2002 / September 2002 / August 2002 / July 2002 / June 2002 /