I have been sailing since the army kindly taught me during my twenties but living in the middle of Europe has severely curtailed the use of boats the last thirty years. I did however join a cruise with a friend in Croatia and passed my German “inland skipper” course which allowed me to take the family and friends out on a local lake.
When I decided it was time to “get back in to sailing” I took a look at the British and German systems and decided that the former seemed to be more “reality based” while the latter was perhaps more interested in “passing tests”. I therefore searched for a school offering British RYA courses but better weather than is normally to be found on the island. I was attracted to Go-n-Sail in Spain, particularly as they offer an instructor ratio of three students to one instructor and only have rave reviews. After a discussion with the school I registered for two weeks training with the target being my Day Skipper certificate. Most RYA certificates have a practical and theoretical element and in order to be awarded the certificate you need to not just prove yourself practically but also take a theoretical exam. Continue reading “Sailing School”
This is a subject I approached with great respect. My research in Internet forums led me to believe that the insurance market is peopled by evil, money grabbing scrooges who hide behind small print and set unreasonable conditions before they will even agree to consider taking a huge chunk out of your boating money.
Thirty years ago I was a young member of the British Army out sailing in the Mediterranean. I was actually meant to be in Germany protecting the free world from the Soviet menace but that was a very boring way to spend a summer so instead I was off sailing.
One night we were sailing west towards the setting moon and I was alone at the starlit helm enjoying riding over the seas that approached as looming black hills. The weather was perfect, the temperature just right, the boat perfectly trimmed and I decided that I was just going to remain at the helm and keep sailing west for ever.
After a long pause I am returning to sailing. This year I took the RYA day skipper course and exam. A part of the course was about navigation and if you believed what you were taught then you could be forgiven for thinking that it was all about understanding the charts and pilotage notes and applying them.
Probably the most annoying sentence that one has to hear is “But you are so lucky!”
My daughter spent the last summer working in Portugal and then flew on to Shanghai to work. One son is training to be a joiner and loves it. The other son is working his way across Australia and has now been doing so for nearly a year. I have a job I love and enjoy at least one adventure every year. And all because we “are so lucky”. It is not luck and the record needs to be set straight. Continue reading “Why we hate hearing “But you are so lucky!””
The world is full of potential adventurers; people who have a plan to “get out there and do something”. But in reality most of them are waiting for a tomorrow that never comes.
A couple who had cycled to Nepal were giving a presentation to a packed hall. They cycled up to Finland, across in to Russia, took the Siberian Express (after smuggling their bikes on board) and then cycled across the Gobi Desert and through the Himalayas. After the presentation, some one asked what the most difficult part of the journey had been and the man answered “setting off!”