Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Read more about Sail Training on board Tenacity of Bolton at

2nd April 2013

Today was the most ambitious part of our expedition; to sail from Machrie Bay around the bottom of Arran up to Dunagoil Bay on the isle of Bute. We woke up at 7, which was most unpleasant after a very rocky night but after cereal instead of porridge (which we decided took far too long) the anchor was up and we were ready to sail by 8-30AM, the best morning start of our expedition so far. Having such a good head start meant that the full day ahead of us didn’t look so overwhelming. Fortunately, we managed to sail around the bottom of Arran with ease, much to our surprise, as we predicted that this would be the hardest part of our journey due to the negative wind direction. However, throughout the day the parts we thought would be easiest were actually harder. At around 10 am, we learnt the skill of pinching. We weren’t able to head directly in the direction we wanted, due to wind direction but we were going fast, and our other option was to sail slower but head more towards where we were going. Pinching was to shift a few degrees at a time towards our location without dropping speed too much; a careful and difficult balance. We each took over the helm during the day, and all of us our now experts at winching in the sails having done them so regularly.

The problems occurred when we reached the bottom of the Holy Island, as the wind dropped dramatically. We had previously done three tacks on our own (one of which Steve videoed so hopefully you can all see us managing the ship independently) but now the wind wasn’t in our favour. Sarah and Taylor, the tackticians, had to decide when and where we would tack, our estimate time of arrival, think about sunset times and so on. Jess, Madi, Holly and Alliya managed the helm whilst Vicky and Emily organised lunch and dinner preparations.

At Holy Island, when the wind had changed, we had to make a decision whether to turn the engine on or do another tack to try to make the wind in our favour as it was currently below 2 knots. As we were making this decision, the wind picked up to 4 knots and we decided to keep going under sail and turn onto a different tack. This proved successful, and called for a celebration- cream and jam scones. On the original plan, we aimed for Dunagoil bay but after a tacktics talk with Max, Taylor and Sarah thought it better to push on and aim five miles further to St Ninnians Bay that we have previously anchored at. This means that tomorrow we can have more of a lie in by taking advantage of the 7 knots of wind we had at this point.

Vicky, Jess and Emily cooked dinner – chick pea couscous with a variety of vegetables, and made three desserts too, apple crumble, flapjacks and brownies. Madi, Sarah, Taylor, Alliya and Holly worked on steering the boat to the anchorage, lowering the anchor and putting down the sails. After this long hard day, we sat down to a well deserved dinner. This was followed by the plan for the day ahead tomorrow, what time we’ll wake up, where we plan to anchor etc. We sat up on deck for dessert watching the sunset, whilst Madi, Jess, Vicky and Taylor showed us their contemporary dance moves, which were creative to say the least. We had a very eventful day; Holly taught sarah that being stung by a jellyfish doesn’t make you immune the way chicken pox does, we watched Vicky cry with laughter, Madi ate a whole apple crumble, Emily and Taylor slept in about fifty different positions on the boat. Throughout the day we all had a lot of fun whilst working hard to make our destination before sunset, over all we sailed 50 miles in total.

Written by Sarah and Taylor

The team have truly excelled again. They should be proud of themselves. Even if they take the helm with some initial self doubt, they are currently able to manage all areas of boat management, skilfully. (They have all said they have realised how much work cooking & cleaning for children is, and cannot wait to repay parents for all their efforts over the years!)They understand the navigational and sail setting aspects of the trip, beyond the level of beginners.   We hope they are already planning their Gold DoE expedition! Thank you for another fantastic day, mainly due to their abilities, personalities and teamwork. Max, Steve & Val.

No comments:

Post a Comment