To sail or not to sail
Well, I’ve had my introduction to the world of sailing and in the words of Janice from friends….”OH MY GOD!”
I don’t think I’ve ever done anything as physical as I have done over the past 4 days. My shins hurt, my knees hurt and my shoulders and arms feel like I’ve just gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson.
The good news is that there was no vomiting and the team are definitely the kind of people I wouldn’t mind being lost at sea with. Such lovely people who really looked after me this week and made me feel part of the team. Ross, our captain is unbelievable and knows exactly what is going on at all times.
We set sail from Hamble to beautiful Dartmouth on Tuesday evening and arrived at around 7am on the Wednesday. We did three hour shifts so luckily I had the 9pm to 12am shift and then was back up at 6am so I got to have a few hours sleep. I didn’t really do anything during my shift, I just chatted to Lisa and Ross.
It was such a strange experience sailing in complete darkness. You literally can’t see anything in front of you. Lisa has done the transatlantic before and she was telling me that the sky is just littered with stars when out on the Atlantic. I’m so excited to experience this for myself next year.
We have now just finished our second day of ‘in shore’ racing at the Dartmouth regatta where we did pretty well finishing in the top 5 in all four races.
I must confess, I had a severe rethink about being involved in his challenge on Tuesday night. I didn’t understand anything anyone was talking about. I don’t even know the basics about sailing. There were words like, tac, spinnaker, hike…I literally had no idea and they are not even terms you could guess either.
Also, on the Tuesday night I felt really sick. As soon as I went below deck to sleep I started to feel pretty rubbish. I’m not good at feeling physically sick. The worst part of my cancer as a child was that I was sick all the time during my chemo and radio therapy. If I’m sick I find it hard to do anything else.
When we arrived in Dartmouth I was thinking that maybe I’m not cut out for this but then I saw a boat called ‘Trout’ and then the boat we moored up next to was called ‘Yes’. More signs that I should do this?… Oh yes!:)
The racing was just crazy. I couldn’t believe how physical it was. I was on winching duty which means I winched in the sail in so it kept relatively taught and stopped it from collapsing too much….I think that’s what it did anyway.
My upper body muscles have never done anything like that before. I ran out of puff a few times and I got to the point I couldn’t turn it anymore which can affect the overall speed of the boat. The gang all said i did well but I think they were just being nice. Im really going to have to bulk up and work on my core strength for next year. Weights and protein here I come.
You also have to climb and run over to each side of the boat every time you turn which after some winching and when he boat is in it’s side is like trying to climb Everest after a marathon.
Kirsty saw me flagging and immediately told me to have a rest. We laughed afterwards as I could barely speak when she was asking me questions.
I only had a bowl of cereal for breakfast that day but today I went all out with cereal, banana, a double egg bap (please don’t judge me) and a cereal bar. I was still knackered but at least I could speak today!:)
My mum and dad came to pick me up today and got to meet everyone and see the Scarlet Oyster. They really don’t want me to do the transatlantic race but I think now they’ve seen the boat and met the gang they are feeling a bit better about it.
I feel sore and absolutely shattered right now. We stopped to get a coffee and as I struggled out of the car my mum looked at me and said “I think this is too hard for you son”. I replied “but that’s what this is all about mum, because if I can do it then everyone else can too”.
So it’s strength work, practice, a copy of the ‘dummies guide to sailing’ and I’ll be sound as a pound!:)