Sunday, 8 February 2009

Day Skipper Day 4

25 nautical miles

Again the day started off with maneuvering, again useful. Building confidence. There was an easterly wind which made the bow swing round and maneuvering with the bow swinging was very much more difficult.

In the marina there was the really beautiful ketch we kept passing when we were turning. Something about her lines... can you say a boat is sexy?

OK, before I become all goey about a boat rather than my wife, I take True North out from the marina and we sail a few miles out and then hove to.

The reason for this is to do some bearing work...

But the visibility isn't great actually today.

Nevertheless, out come the hand bearing compasses and we take bearings on targets we can see and match with the chart. The cement works chimney... silo at the new port... water tower in Limassol... and so on.

At times we bring out binoculars to check to see it the targets are what we think they might be. Maybe...

Then we transfer the bearings to the chart. They pretty much all come together - only a very small cocked hat.

Then we check that position with our GPS and check the chart depth... yes... the GPS confirms we are where we think we are.

We try goose-winging, but the wind is so low that the sails just flap and the wind indicator just rolls around. We couldn't get the spinnaker pole down to be used as a whisker pole as the end should come down a runner in the mast... but it jams and so won't move.

So we carry on sailing, just practicing boat handling. It's good to just be out on the water. I wish we could carry on... sail to Lebanon or Syria for starters. The wind is pretty fickle... sometimes one direction, sometimes another. We hove to for lunch.

Then everyone goes down into the cabin to warm up. No, the crew aren't invisible... if the photo included the crew then you would not see the interior of the yacht!

I sit in the companionway and keep watch to see no other boats or ships are about, and warm my hands round a hot mug of coffee. Then we sail on.

The easterly wind is picking up now. Not really strong, but would make mooring the boat difficult when we finally return. However, we try goose-winging again. Without a whisker pole, holding the genoa is pretty difficult in the gusts and lulls.

Finally, it's time to head for home, clean up the boat and leave. We sail back to the east of the marina, turn into the wind, which is away from the marina, drop sails, turn and motor into the marina. At which point Colin takes the helm as mooring could be very difficult. In fact before we left Andreas had said we could leave the boat bows to if it was really too much from the east.

Yes. Now I have the certificate for Day Skipper Practical. If you like to try yourself... True North Yachting in Limassol.

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