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Experiences of a novice sailor

MaiBelle

Lantern Swinger
So this weekend Im starting to learning to sail and having been on the boat for a couple of hours Ive already managed to lock myself in my cabin and had to call for instruction on how to open the door. To help me feel less inept, please share the daft mistakes you made when you were first learning about life on the water.

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SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
You do know that it is not a pre-requisite of modern RN entry to actually be able to set sails?

Having said that, it is great for AT. I had several trips on Adventure and her sisters over the years.

My biggest faux pas was thinking I was going out on an evening cruise on an establishment yacht, to find once underway that we were actually participating in the Cherbourg (there and back!) race............. bit of a miserable weekend that was, as all I had was what I stood up in!
 
:
:
Tip for next time:

Just as most RN CAs dribble over a gift of Hob-Nobs so any yacht skipper worth that title will welcome that crew member who arrives with a huge home-made fruit cake.

(....add a bottle of whisky or rum for the wobbly coffees and you'll be on the permanent crew list.)
 

Uncle_Albert

War Hero
Joined a yacht in Faro; it had been cruising the Canary Islands and this was the home leg. A good mix, including a couple of guardsmen enjoying their time back from Iraq. On arrival, the skipper checked everyone's skills and quals and what have you and sorted out watches; one watch leader was a young lad, experienced sailor. First night we hit the bars in Faro on our own recognisance, trusted to be sensible adults who would be ready to slip at o-eight-dubs the following morning.

Knowing my limits, I left the guardsmen and the watch leader somewhere around ten and hit my pit. I awoke the next morning to find that the watch leader had been demoted to most junior crewman on board. Carefully waiting until after everyone had a cup of tea, the skipper explained why. The former watch leader tried to keep up with the guardsmen, and somewhere around 0400 had woken in his pit, needing the toilet. For whatever reason he couldn't find it, but didn't want to make a mess, so he found a suitable receptacle. Or rather, lots of them. The neatly arranged 4x4 grid of 16 mugs in the galley, which he very carefully relieved himself into.
 

Ballistic

War Hero
You do know that it is not a pre-requisite of modern RN entry to actually be able to set sails?

Having said that, it is great for AT. I had several trips on Adventure and her sisters over the years.

My biggest faux pas was thinking I was going out on an evening cruise on an establishment yacht, to find once underway that we were actually participating in the Cherbourg (there and back!) race............. bit of a miserable weekend that was, as all I had was what I stood up in!

Old ships! :thumbright:

My first time at sea was on Adventure. A weeks unprogrammed time for my class at Collingrad and off we went.

Got my first foreign run ashore out of it too in Ouisterham, France. :drunken:
 
I never had the privilege of sailing in Adventure myself but I was present in HMS Vernon at the start and finish of the first two Whitbread Round the World yacht races in which she participated. The parties were legendary, as were the competitors.

Lizzie Green 25 Jul 2011 said:
...Adventure, a production Nicholson 55 sloop, competed in the first two Whitbreads, finishing second in 1973-74 and seventh in 1977-78. She was later given to the Russian Navy and is now lying in St Petersburg. During her second race around the world, she was skippered in part by the late Ian Bailey-Willmot, subsequently Race Director of the Whitbread Round the World Race and later Chairman of the Race Committee.

Adventure was one a number of boats ordered as training yachts by the British Ministry of Defence. Designed by Raymond Wall, Adventure was immediately commissioned as the Royal Navy entrant, after the Whitbread Brewery announced in 1972 they would sponsor the first fully crewed race around the world...

Sadly the third Whitbread race had a South Afican entry and, the political situation being what it was, this and later races started and finished at Camper & Nicholson instead of Vernon Creek.
 
Last edited:
I was present in HMS Vernon at the start and finish of the first two Whitbread Round the World yacht races

Then you'd likely know this chap then, Rob:



Published mcdoa March '05



('Lets get the first leg over' (plus four feet to illustrate) was the T Shirt motif of the day for Adventure about that time IIRC...)
 

Merlin28

War Hero
Last time I sailed I got told to pull in the jib sheet. I just looked at the bloke blankly and got hit in the head with the boom. I have now learnt that the jib sheet is the front sail and to duck. I am not really a big fan of sailing dingys I might enjoy it more if I knew what I was doing.

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SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
Last time I sailed I got told to pull in the jib sheet. I just looked at the bloke blankly and got hit in the head with the boom. I have now learnt that the jib sheet is the front sail and to duck. I am not really a big fan of sailing dingys I might enjoy it more if I knew what I was doing.

Posted from the Navy Net mobile app (Android / iOS)


Got a bit of learning to yet Merlin!

A sheet (on a sailing boat) is for arguments sake a rope that controls a sail, whereas a halyard is the rope that pulls up said sail.

A jib, well, let's not really get into that, but yes, it can be a sail at the bow (front or pointy bit).

At least you have learned that booms hurt! Now if you go for a loose footed main............
 

Topstop

War Hero
Never did Adventure, but did crew Smasher, Basher and Crasher.

Racer, now in civie ownership is moored near me.
 

Tomahawk

Lantern Swinger
Did the Tall Ships Race from St Malo in France to Lisbon last year on a 60ft ex-Clipper yacht, that was some experience. Having a sheet break and almost losing the Foresail in a Force 8 gale in the Atlantic was probably the wildest moment onboard. What I did learn though is trying to prepare the pork for the day's dinner whilst sailing requires quite a strong stomach.
 

MaiBelle

Lantern Swinger
Having made it home without falling in or sinking, I think I should add the following to my list of things not to do:

1) Stop forgetting how low the cabin's are - I think I hit my head in excess of 10 times, however as I'm already pretty pink from sun and wind (regardless of using factor 30 cream, it didn't help) I hope the bruises won't show

2) Don't use the little platform behind the help as a step to steer from...it may help briefly when you're vertically challenged as I am, but it only took one rapid turn and I was flung off to the side in pretty short order.

3) Land-sickness is almost worse than sea-sickness and no one mentioned it before hand...:blank:
 

MaiBelle

Lantern Swinger
:
:
Tip for next time:

Just as most RN CAs dribble over a gift of Hob-Nobs so any yacht skipper worth that title will welcome that crew member who arrives with a huge home-made fruit cake.

(....add a bottle of whisky or rum for the wobbly coffees and you'll be on the permanent crew list.)

I'll definitely keep that in mind as I'll be on the look out for crewing ops :)
 

RomanyRanner

Lantern Swinger
3) Land-sickness is almost worse than sea-sickness and no one mentioned it before hand...:blank:

In my short 20 years in the mob I had never heard of that. Then last May took a trip across the pond on the Queen Mary 2. Took me a week on land before I stopped moving.
 

MaiBelle

Lantern Swinger
In my short 20 years in the mob I had never heard of that. Then last May took a trip across the pond on the Queen Mary 2. Took me a week on land before I stopped moving.

I have found it worse in an enclosed space - like a bathroom/shower cubicle, especially when eyes.
 
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