azziria: (sailing)
Extended shipping forecast for this coming weekend:

Strong southwesterly winds on Friday will increase to gale-force for a time in northern parts of Fitzroy and Biscay as well as Sole, Fastnet and Plymouth. Winds veer westerly later Friday with gales persisting for a time through the English Channel. Strong westerly winds continue during Saturday across much of the area before easing back by Sunday morning.

So, we're racing from Cowes to Cherbourg, gun time 1900 Friday. Looks like a bumpy start, a beam reach all the way over, and then a more gentle run back on Sunday. Also not the weather (or the wind direction) for trying out our new spinnaker!

Can't wait :)
azziria: (sailing)
The standard of humour on the boat is... low. As evidenced by the amount of amusement still being gained from the fact that the skipper sometimes has to instruct a crew member to blow the guy...

And now that I know the rest of the crew a bit better I have a feeling that it can only go downhill from here on in...

Sailing

Apr. 21st, 2011 10:02 pm
azziria: (sailing)
First weekend on the boat this weekend - plan is to all join the boat first thing tomorrow for a safety briefing, then hop over to Cowes on the Isle of Wight tomorrow afternoon, spend the night berthed in Cowes and then head out for 24 hour overnighter on Saturday morning, full watch system up and running, the works.

Nervous and excited both at once :)

Crew

Apr. 16th, 2011 11:39 pm
azziria: (sailing)

Dinner with the crew this evening, seriously good fun, they seem like a good and varied bunch, with a range of ages (18 - 63) and experiences (one complete novice to a couple of Yachtmasters). Ended up with a stroll down to the harbour to take a look at the Challengers moored in the marina.

We don't know which of the Challengers will be ours yet. Apparently 4 is the fastest for some reason (in theory they're identical, but...) and two of the four will be getting new sails before the Fastnet, but none of the skippers know which two yet.

Our skipper, M, is young (mid 20s) but clearly knows his stuff, is obviously a people person, and seems to have the gravitas to do the job. So all good.

Can't wait to actually get on the water next weekend :)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

azziria: (lighthouse)

Spent the morning in the classroom brushing up on safety procedures and kit, and this afternoon in the swimming pool, fully dressed and in lifejackets learning how to deploy a liferaft and board it from the water (undignified!), and how to right it if it's capsized. Huge fun :)

Heavy weather sailing techniques tomorrow.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

azziria: (oceanabstract)
Away this weekend doing the Sea Survival and ISAF Offshore Personal Survival courses as the start of the Fastnet training - personal survival, safety equipment, heavy weather sailing techniques, rescue procedures, communications (need to brush up on my radio procedures and dig out my radio licence before next weekend), basic first aid, and a session in the pool with a liferaft (*g*).

Only downside is that my internet access will be limited to my iPhone. Better than nothing, but any writing done will probably have to be longhand in a notebook. Hopefully the hotel has wireless so I don't have to rely on the 3G.
azziria: (sailing)
No, I'm not doing it on my own. There will be 12 of us crewing the boat.

No, I'm not doing it with anyone I know. But as all of us on the crew are there because we want to have an adventure and aren't scared of working for it, I don't see that as a problem.

Yes, it is the race that all the people died in that year. That's why they've set such stringent training and qualifying conditions.

Yes, it might be a little bit dangerous. But it's all about controlled risk. That's why they've set such stringent training and qualifying conditions.

And no, I've never been seasick... so far...

More crew details courtesy of people answering the call for press info: one partner in a London construction law firm, one MD of a commercial insurance company, and one ex-assistant editor of the Sun and Daily Express newspapers(!). Sounds like a fair dose of alpha males there...
azziria: (oceanabstract)
So I've just filled in a series of questions asked by the Press Officer for our Fastnet campaign and, following another crew member's example, circulated them to the whole crew (I'm dying to know more about who I'm going to be sailing with, and I can't be the only one). So I've owned up to the fannish origin of my sailing passion (Master and Commander and Pirates of the Caribbean) to a whole crew of people I haven't even met yet.

All part of my new resolution to be more open about who I really am, and s*d the consequences.

We all meet up next weekend for our first training session - the shore based one, Sea Survival (including playing with a liferaft in a swimming pool, which should be a laugh) and Heavy Weather Sailing (since the large loss of life during the 1979 Fastnet - 15 fatalities, 25 yachts sunk - the Royal Ocean Racing Club have tightened up their entry requirements, which now include a requirement for a certain percentage of the crew to have done these courses, plus the requirement for each crew to have sailed 300 NM together in qualifying races in the 12 months before the Fastnet race itself). We're all going out for a crew meal together on the Saturday night - should be good :)

What I'm really looking forward to, though, is the weekend afterwards, when we have our first training weekend actually sailing. It's too long since I was at sea - I can't wait!

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