Monday, 1 April 2013

April Fools day 2013!!

First day of our expedition, and what a better way than to start it off with a shower – eventually! Most of us were on the verge of break down with the state of our hair. We were all so eager to have a shower that we sacrificed time in bed to get up at 7am to go to the public showers on the pontoon. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we have never been so grateful for hot running water and shampoo! We returned to the boat, an extremely happy team of eight and started the day off smiling. Sarah and Vicky cooked porridge and made teas and coffees whilst the rest of the crew got up and dressed. After a quick hot breakfast, we planned out how we were going to leave Tarbert harbour by swapping the bow and stern mooring lines to let us “slip” the pontoon. We all got on deck, tied these new knots and adjusted the fenders despite the bitter morning wind. After an unsurprisingly slow start like the rest of the week, we were out of the pontoon by 10 and sailing south towards Arran.

We learned from the mistakes of the last few days that staying under deck was not an intelligent idea when experiencing rough seas, so we all made sure we stayed up on deck and thankfully we avoided sea sickness. We also decided not to put the anchor down for lunch as we learnt that it took an awfully long time, which would be better used for getting more distance covered. Being organised and conscientious, Emily and Jess had pre made bread and sausages for traditional second-breakfast and a variety of sandwiches for lunch, which we found to be a great help. After two large tacks towards Arran which caused us a slow start, we headed down past the island which allowed us to pick up the highest speed we’ve managed to reach of 8.1 knots, as the wind was fortunately in our favour. The rest of the journey was rather pleasant and relaxing, which resorted in us playing games that Steve taught to us. Some of us took longer to grasp these games than others, which was rather amusing. Madi and Sarah made up a song to cheer everyone up, Jess and Emily baked flapjacks, Vicky sang us some of her own composed songs (which were very in tune and had...imaginative words) and Taylor and Alliya took over the steering of the boat. During this fast journey, we shared stories, filled out the ships log book, had hot chocolate and cookies, and enjoyed the lovely snowy view of Arran or the Alps as Vicky likes to call them.

We tackticians (Sarah, Taylor, Jess and Madi) planned the journey ahead, by using the wind direction, true course, and our destination. We decided to change route, and instead of tacking towards the mainland away from Arran and going back up, we tacked towards Arran and followed the island round until we met Machrie Bay.

When we reached the bay at 6pm we dropped the anchor and put all the sails (the jenny, the main and the mizzen) up for the first time by ourselves. Feeling relieved that the full day of sailing was over, we cooked Taylors speciality, chicken chorizo and tomato pasta. This went down a treat and was even added to the tenacity book of meal suggestions. We’ve had a successful and quite hilarious first day sailing, in particular with a toilet incident involving Jess and Vicky and although we forgot about April fools, we think Steves’ constant sarcasm was enough to keep us supposedly amused for the day. Now we are currently making flapjacks and planning the route for tomorrow, a pleasant day!

Written by Sarah.

Note from the skipper:
The girls have been fantastic today in all areas, excelling in their understanding of sailing basics, and of more advanced principles and techniques.  They are handling all areas of boat management, from catering to pre sailing boat and engine checks, anchoring, passage planning and sailing. Well done, especially for day one! 

Read more about Sail Training on board Tenacity of Bolton at

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