Thursday, May 04, 2017
Two lessons from my first yacht sail
Ok, enough May the fourth misquotes, but many years ago I signed up for something called Villa-Flotilla holiday where the first week involved teaching newbies how to sail a yacht and the second off we'd go.
It was for a sailing company that is now long gone but others still sail from where it was based, namely Nidri on the Greek island of Lefkas (Lefkada).
I'd never been on a yacht before but was keen to find out more from our instructor, on who we relied to teach us the mysteries of sailing.
Unfortunately the first thing he did was run our yacht aground just outside Nidri! So the first topic of my first sailing lesson was how to kedge off. Fortunately I haven't had to use this technique since but no doubt it was useful to know.
The second lesson was the all important person over-board drill. Most courses simulate a body by tying a fender to a bucket then chucking it into the waters, but our instructor was a bit more ambitious in that he jumped over-board himself.
I do wonder what would have happened if we had been poor students at that task.
Later I was to learn other important things, such as why it was a bad idea to crash-gybe in front of an oncoming Greek ferry, but that's another story.