1] Learn to duck! Sailing a 16-ft Skiff at a Drummoyne Regatta (Sydney) when I was about 13... flying gybe... no ducking... SMACK! One massive haematoma on my forehead thanks to the aluminum boom! Talk about learning the hard way...
2] Nosediving. The sight of the whole front of the boat disappearing under a wall of green churning water, flying downwind in a huge sou-easter under kite out-of-control... grinding to an absolute sudden halt as a result of a massive nosedive! How the boat didn't just explode as a result I have no idea!
3] Swearing. Yes, I learnt to swear thanks to sailing as a young teenager. The sound of 15+ boats all trying to round the same lee-mark at the same time, pulling kites down - and the LANGUAGE that'd be flying from 50+ voices all at once - was a true enlightening experience!
4] A White-Out. Experiencing a huge sudden squall that whited-out the horizon and everything within sight for about 20 meters in every direction, whilst afloat upon Sydney Harbour. Thankfully we capsized to safely sit it out, and it only lasted about two minutes. But twas my first experience of standing on a centreboard with hail smacking onto my head, and water coming in at you horizontally, blown sideways by the wind...
5] Sailing in the rain. A truely sensationally soul-refreshing experience. Once being becalmed in the middle of Port Stephens at 2am in the pouring rain with a good mate - and whilst totally enclosed in wet-weather gear, we smiled absolutely delightedly at one-another, water pouring off our noses.
6] Mast breaks. Sitting safely capsized and watching a yacht screaming out-of-control down Sydney Harbour one Saturday arvo as a massive southerly buster swept all before it... CRACK! The sound not unlike a rifle-shot... and the backstay snapped on the yacht, and watching the mast collapse across the bow as if in slow-motion. The yacht stopped absolutely dead in the water, as if they'd applied the hand-brake!
7] Sea-sickness. Upside down, broken centre-board case, so we couldn't right the boat by ourselves... big sou-east swell pumping thru Sydney Heads... the encompassing stench of deisel fumes from the tender rescuing us ensured twas my first at-sea puke!
8] Rounding-up. Looking behind me, seeing the big gust and wind shift coming as I'm running square, about five boat-lengths from the bottom mark. Literally thinking, "I'd better head up a bit before this hits me..." as the tiller slips thru my fingers... one big quick sudden round-up... the sight of the mainsheet slipping thru my fingers as I slide off the tuck into a wall of churning water... then the silence, as I pop-up to see my little boat casually flop-over onto its side!
The good, positive times hugely outweight the negative, cold, scary moments whilst out sailing. I love being out there, I really do. All these eight points [off the top of my head] are actually fond memories and experiences, believe it or not!
Peas be with ewe
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