Come in White Knight are you receiving??
Well I had my first taste of proper sailing this weekend - have done it before when I was like eleven but that was in tiny little lasers and enterprise dingys - far less scary than a 35 footer! Always wanted to try it but its really very manic, so much to think about - ropes or sheets as they should be called going everywhere!
Mr Carrie's regiment The Queen's Royal Lancers have a boat racing at Cowes Week called White Knight 5 - if you get down there you won't miss it as its got a whopping skull and cross bones motto flag on the front!
Anyway they waited for me to cross over to the Isle of Wight so I legged it down to Gosport after the show on Friday to get a lift across the Solent - a few of the boys were just learning their jobs for the week so it was pretty hair raising at times and well choppy!
I had to sit behind the skipper as we negotiated our way out of Portsmouth Harbour. Apparently thats the safest place however I was the one closest to the water!
There was the offer of oil skins but I chose to brave it out with the lads and stick to my shorts and hoodie! Big mistake! Sitting out on the rail at this point left me at the mercy of the waves and wash from the ferries and speed boats - and it was sooo gusty! Everything completely soaked right through to the undercrackers! And my lips and fingers went blue! Totally put what Ellen McArthur achieved into perspective! That is one brave lady! Much bigger waves in the middle of nowhere and on her own! We did spot the Dame sailing people round on her trust boats. Still we arrived in Cowes in one piece and celebrated our landing in style - the Booca monster came out to play - never a good idea! Saturday was very sunny but sadly the spinnaker pole broke so couldn't get the real speed up.
The skipper ordered an early night saturday for race day, 7.30 start! I stayed in bed - well just in a sleeping bag as we were camping - Tom bought me a tent for my birthday - still trying to work out if that was really for him!!
They came 24th - not bad when you don't have a very important sail - they'll be hoping for better this week - I am now nursing very bruised shins and knees from diving across the rails! Still its not put me off entirely - probably won't be trying a round the world trip any time soon though!