Monday, 4 August 2008

Riding liquid mountains

The text read "am at the club its blowing 25 we should be out" It was Mike Lennon and it was friday pm, Our worlds experience has hardened our resolve to go out in anything, so one hour later I too was rigging up, and we did go out. Briefly.

Mike broke his wand off and I snapped the becket of a high load bullet block clean in two.

On saturday the harbour was an awful place to sail. A 3 knot outgoing tide, and so much weed it looked like the nautical version of Glastonbury. So we decided to go outside..My idea which I'm prepared to say in hindsight, wasn't great..

Have you ever had that feeling that you are doing something that you shouldn't, but cant really stop? Well that's the feeling I had as we fired over Hayling bar with the wind against us and the tide under us. It was massive, but Moths are great upwind in waves, yet even so I was going through every third one...

When we were out there it was fantastic champagne sailing and I felt pretty good about the changes I'd made since the worlds, specifically more power on the kicker, back 2.5 holes on the rake and (biggest improvement) new wand and gearing.

But always in my mind was the "how the hell do we get home" feeling.

Anyway we tried. Downwind at first was great, and as it got rougher Mike sensibly made some changes to kill a little ride height. I didnt but only because I couldn't and as we got nearer, the waves got bigger. At one point I thought "were gonna make this" and it was truly awesome sailing, firing the boat down liquid himalayas, and I was pleased with how well the boat was coping, but then one of them was so large and so steep that the crash I had was comparible to throwing my boat off the roof of the sailing club with me in it. That new PBO cover is as aggressive as razor wire when you go past it at twenty knots, and just when you think that off wasn't soo bad, the boat lands on your head. And then as you struggle to right the boat the tide takes you back to where you started.

At one point I saw a helicopter and thought it might be for us..I made a mental note to paint my next boat rescue orange.

Eventually Mike, found a way around the bar, which meant going somewhere near Bognor Regis where the waves were more sailable. A bit beaten up, I followed...

When we got ashore I said to Mike "That was fun!"

"Fun!" he said, "I was bloody terrified"

So was I.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful picture, great story and glad you came in safely!

Tom said...

Sounds awesome si!

You should probably replace that bullet block with a Hercules thimble.. ;-)


Bora Gulari said...

did i tell you the gorge was flat water ;)

Chris said...

sounds like our experience round the world, every third wave you get swept off the back upwind... that feeling in between excitement and shit scared.