Training for newbies

Today was a sail training day for all the new crew joining the race at SF.

Jamaica has 7 newbies + today we combined forces with Derry who has 12 additions. 19 milling novices in a clipper 70 made training something of a lottery + choreography was definitely the order of the day. We perhaps didn’t learn quite as much as we would have had we been just 7 – but hey, it was great to be sailing. In the event I stuck to the aspects of sail changes etc that I felt confident with whilst at the same time kicking myself for not being bolder + trying the bits I’m not.

Jamaica’s skipper Pete was a patient + tolerant instructor. It was very interesting that man overboard (MOB) was a hot topic for discussion + clearly at the forefront of Pete’s considerations. Pete was a great deal more forthcoming over what had happened on Derry + why the retrieval had taken so long + more interestingly how Jamaica had lost their – thankfully tethered – chap over the side albeit temporarily. Not unsurprisingly Pete took any prospect of a MOB incident very seriously – sort of reassuring …

The weather predictions for the next leg suggest tactical sailing will be the order of the day – humidly warm + windless with plenty of sail changes in the offing. Not sure how I feel about this new knowledge.

Post-sailing everybody adjourned to the Yacht Club where I scavenged my supper from the OneDLL’s corporate snacks but avoided the drinks. Skipper Pete and Nell (Legs 3 + 6) fell to telling stories of seasickness + insanity amongst the crew from races past – just sailed + historic (Pete was a skipper in the 09-10 race). Irrational behaviour is high on the list of testing attributes displayed … Nell was quite certain as to who would cut-up mad in the next leg + offered to seal her written predictions in an envelope to be opened at journey’s end.

Nell’s view (+ Pete’s to a certain extent) was that people who were seasick suffered from a defeatest attitude –  that they had resolved to succumb. Interesting point of view + maybe true for some but not one I subscribe to. I hate being seasick + have decided this time to confront the problem by taking no medication at all – on an ignore it + it will go away basis. Taking medication has never worked in the past so try a new approach! Pete’s helpful addition to this conversation was that everybody ends up seasick in a life-raft (how does he know?!) – well in that case I’ve definitely NO plans to end up in one of those!!!



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