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Seamanship | 5-6 june 2021

A picture-book day with a gentle SW 10 knot breeze greeting us at Castle Cove Sailing Club on Saturday , ready for ("Admiral") Conroy's briefing in the clubhouse.

About 20 CCSC members came together; a mixture of keel-boat owners, dinghy sailors, sailors who hadn't been sailing for a while (because of Covid.) while some were fairly new to the club and sailing. What a great way to get to know other members!

Boat Mooring Mike took us through the order of the day: the morning concentrating on a host of sailing manoeuvres and the afternoon would be based over at the Sailing Academy at Portland for practise berthing under different conditions. Each keel-boat was allocated 2 or 3 crew, and we were off and on-board in no time! Once used to the keel-boats - putting up the sails, steering, tacking, gybing etc., we practised heaving to, reefing, turning around a buoy going forwards and backwards, as well as anchoring. This was full-on - no time to make a cuppa as we hove to (as suggested) as we found ourselves taking turns in all the different exercises.

Once over at the Academy and after lunch, we had a second mini-briefing on the pontoon regarding berthing manoeuvres - being blown on, being blown off, springing on and off, coming into pontoon berths taking into account the wind and tidal flow, which way your boat goes backwards naturally (or if reverse ain't working too well!) What a lot to consider, what a lot to learn! How to communicate clearly and effectively with your crew and retaining all that information how to get it right. Mike described it as "pontoon bashing" - but really there was very little of that, all was controlled and calm and not a raised voice to be heard! Personally, I feel that my confidence has grown being skipper whilst berthing the boat; not that I'll be perfect just yet, but in time and with further experience and practice this will come.

Seamanship Crew Then finally dinner at the Boat That Rocks for everyone, and others that just joined us for dinner, to catch up on the days events and for those that had only met that day a chance to learn more about each other.


Penmanship: Nicky Footer (Boni)

Pics: Monica Wolff (Jenny Wren)

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