Sail Away Weekend

May 2009

A wonderful trip with fabulous people on a beautiful ship! Huge thanks to ALL the crew who did such a wonderful job. As we only had six visitors, the spare births were offered to members. This meant that, after many phone calls were made, the three members who could make it at very short notice had the opportunity to do some extra sailing, which was great.

Friday night saw us heading off in the dark for a spot of night-time sailing. Yes, I know a rare bird; however we managed it without breaking anything. We were not breaking any speed records but the sailing experience was good. We spent the night at our familiar Alexander’s Bay, and no matter how many times you go there it is always magic under the stars, which were out to watch over us and provide a special moment (a shooting star was observed, but actually a meteorite sighting is what it is, so I am led to believe).

It is amazing just how the darkness plays tricks on the eyes no matter how many times you are out there at night, distances to land, Cape Flyaway (not that we saw this, just thought I’d mention it: it’s imagined land on the horizon at night for those who do not know). Surprisingly enough however, when we arose the next morning the yard lignment wasn’t too embarrassing, and the new quick way to ‘wrap the sails underway, in the dark’ was interesting to observe in daylight. We headed off and went as far as ordon and Huon Island, very picturesque. We enjoyed the day sailing, even with winds light to virtually none, with as many as nine sails up here and there. We engaged in lots of things, from sail handling practice, deck quoits, rope work, checking out the lead line and lots of ‘wearing ship with almost everything up’. There were lines everywhere and everyone worked fantastically as a team. Our visitors had a marvelous week-end they said; they picked up many new skills, and climbed new heights that some had thought they wouldn’t or couldn’t do. They were definitely part of the crew by the time we had to return home.

I had a ‘moment’ provided (unknowingly), when ‘Man overboard’ was ‘shouted’. I really believed that we had lost one of our visitors for a few seconds there, as I was not informed that we were having a practice!!!! I must tell you it was a horrible feeling, everything seemed to go in slow motion for what seemed to be longer than it actually was, and as the blood drained from my face and the heart gave a leap of fear, I almost immediately spotted ‘flippin Bob’ astern in the distance. WELL!!!!!!!!!! Then of course it was action stations as per the drill, all this happened in a matter of seconds. (An important reminder shipmates, that someone could just go over the side at ANYTIME and so knowing what to do and following instruction and doing it automatically is VITAL. Therefore, undertaking the practice that is a mandatory requirement should be taken seriously, one of these days you might just help save someone’s life). After the event with Bob safely back on board, I was told that “you should have seen your face at the moment the alarm was shouted”!!!!

The week-end went in the blink of an eye, and all too soon we were back alongside all secured, and ship shape. All that was left to do was to head for T42 for beer and say our thank yous and farewells. Until next time then, keep a fine weather eye open shipmates.

By Barbara Moulton