Monday, 23 January 2012

The wind in my sails

As you may have noticed, I appear to have a bit of a thing for boats.  And, as you already know, sailing boats are my latest favourites (with apologies to the kayak).  This weekend was a 4 (!) boat weekend and therefore equalled lots of fun.  I even remembered to take pictures this time, so pretend it is 30 degrees where you are and the wind is blowing across the deck. You might also want to lean slightly to one side in your chair, for the authentic sailing experience!

On Saturday a group of us went out on Diva, a boat owned by Phil, another sailor at the Yacht Club. It is a 39 foot yacht that was originally made in Sweden, so all the labels on the circuit panel are in Swedish, which I find amusing (and no, Phil is not Swedish either).

Diva is the one in the centre with the red stripes.
The fun thing about sailing is that there are no roads to follow - we just headed straight out to sea for as long as we felt like it.  When the swells got to be fairly sizable (probably around 6 feet tall), we changed course to lessen the rockin' and rolling. And then when we were ready, we turned the boat around and came back.

Carol, Jim's wife, and Joyce, her sister, sitting up on deck as we head out to sea.

Jim, who I race with, is on the helm on the right; Phil, the owner of Diva, is on the left, and Peter is behind him.

Getting sunburned and windblown, but having fun!
You can see the plane coming into land through the shrouds of the boat.
 When we were tired of sailing, we headed towards Doctor's Cave Beach and moored offshore. We took a break to go swimming and eat a snack.

View towards the beach.

Phil checking the bottom of the boat - and just cooling off...

What was once the glorious hotels of Montego Bay - now run down, abandoned by the tourists for the all-inclusive resorts further out of town.

On Sunday, it was back to racing - the first races since the regatta in December.  It was a good day for racing with not too much wind, but just enough to keep the sailors guessing.  It was a busy day in the harbour - a cruise ship was stopped for the day and its lifeboats were practising their deployment drills (as is surely happening of cruise ships all around the world this week). Also, in the middle of the race, the tanker ship decided it was time to leave.  Technically, a sailboat has right-of-way, but in this case "might makes right" so some of the sailboats scrambled to get out of the tanker's path.

Rigging the J22s for racing.

Some of the boats are kept out of the water and it is a bit of a process with the crane to get them back in!
After racing, several of us went from one boat to another, and we took Skedaddle out for a sail.  Peter, who was in one of the pictures above, is the owner of this boat, a trimaran.  The weather was perfect for the trimaran, and we flew out over the water, with lots of splashes to make sure everyone had a good time.

Waiting patiently for the fun to begin.

The wind in the sails (and some legs, apparently)

Oh, but I said four boats, right? Well, the last one was a dingy that went back and forth from the dock to Diva - no pictures, sorry, but I'm counting everything that floats this weekend!

Back to dry land today - happy Monday to you!

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