Sunday, November 8, 2009

Two skippers for Catlyn!

I always said I will do the sailing thing , but I have to know how to do everything! That was really said easier than done! We went for the eye test to see whether we are colour blind or not, and although Johan's fashion sense proof otherwise he also succeeded. We made copies of our log book to proof the mileage we've done, and then we downloaded all the study material we going to need.

Down to the books. As usual I started immediately and Johan decided to make use of his very short term memory again. We were ready! The COLREGS was not too bad and I could recognise all the lights of all different vessels on the sea, all the Lateral and Cardinal Marks warning you like street signs and robots on the high way. And then I also had to know which way to go when their is traffic in your area....keeping left of the white line doesn't help when your road is a foamy and moving one.

But then it was me and the compass and the plotter and the chart on my floor...North kept on changing and I had to get the True One and the Magnetic One and then search for the currents and the wind and how it is going to push my boat where, and how many nautical miles the Light house is from me...and..and... I really tried to dig hard into my Matric Geography but that was just too long ago for my long term memory! What made me feel a little bit better is that I wasn't the only one having a hard time getting these brain cells moving again...Johan was getting the best position on his bed to make life comfortable while working, as usual, but unfortunately lost the rubber or ruler every now and then....not the North like me.

And then we were ready to do the exam. John out examiner came and the suffering started! It was difficult! Enough said. But the sea gods were smiling on me, and helped me pass! I sighed a big sigh of big relief, but it was short lived. The next morning I was woken with the news to take Catlyn out and come back to park her nicely at the jetty! If you haven't been to Elliot Basin before you won't understand my anxiety! Newly delivered yachts all around you, dilapidated jetties hanging in the water, and then all these pillars narrowing your way in and out. I'm only going to say that Catlyn was moored at the jetty with no harm done. Another big sigh of relief!

Friday morning came and John told me to take Catlyn out again to the open sea to show him how I will rescue a man overboard....poor me. I felt like the girl overboard. The wind was howling a whole twenty knots, and I realised that it is not going to be like the practise runs I did on the smooth Langebaan Lagoon! I am sure there was a mermaid holding on to the danbuoy John threw into the big waves, because after a while battling with the wind ,the sails, the engines, Marco had the danbuoy safely in his hands. Johan had his turn and I helped his "man overboard" safely back into Catlyn. He was supposed to take Catlyn back and I was so relieved, but then John decided it might be good for my confidence to take Catlyn back in. Oh no!

He coached me a bit with his gentle manner, and calmed all my raw nerves, and although the wind was pushing and although Johan and John had a couple of scary moments with me I did it!

I DID IT! Two skippers for Catlyn!

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