Glen, a professional sailor was kind enough to invite me to sail with him on Sunday at the Blue’s Point Yacht club with his usual crew on a beautiful 35 footer. It is such a beautiful boat, sleeps about 2-3 people and it had the works. It was just wonderful to be out on a beautiful Sunday morning (maybe not too fun as I was still a little tired from the night before). Glen lives not far from the Blues Point Yacht Club and I have to admit, the place he lives in is beautiful. Really beautiful, better than Pyrmont!
It’s nice to just lie on a boat and watch everything go by on a beautiful blue sky day. We cruised past the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, past Luna Park and a few more other remote beaches on our way in and out. Ahh...the life!
Now these 18 foot skiffs are commonly known as the Historical 18 as it was popularly sailed between 1900 - 1950 (the replicas sailed today are from that time frame). It's a lot of work as the team need to assemble the mast, sails and make sure that the boat is prepped correctly and neatly before the race. A normal yacht takes less than an hour to set up but these skiffs can take up to 3-4 hours. Little did I know that one has to have a wetsuit while sailing on these as the boat does capsize and it's very normal too during races (freak out mode was slowly creeping in at this point).
I was on duty to make sure the water is always pumped out and that the sheets were always up and down at the right moment as even a 2 second delay could cost us to capsize. As I've experienced, everything is manually done and operated. You have to be quite strong to work these boats because of that too. Also your weight placement on the boat is very crucial as it determines if we go over or not. Half the time I was either pushed or pull to the 'right' spot on the boat. At one point we took in a lot of water and I swear I thought we were going to go over but we didn't. Phewww! And so the water bailing session commenced with two crew bailing water out like there is no tomorrow. Saw another boat go over half way through the race.
When we got back, I think I was just super glad I was back on solid ground and I don't think I would do the skiffs again until I master sailing yachts first. Need to get one things right first before attempting the other. It was really fun but scary as the same time but I love the fact that they are really fast.