They say, better a bad day at sea than a good day at school/work etc.
It was my daughter’s first time sailing a dinghy and we put her out on her own in an optimist – this brilliant sturdy bathtub of a boat is a little stable cocoon, keeping young sailors safe yet still travelling well when wind catches the sail. She did brilliantly, tacking from my husband in a laser to me, baby boy and the 2 dogs in a tender. There were tears of frustration and a couple of moments with a sore head from the beam. But it all ended with a willingness to get back on the water again. As I type hubby and daughter are reading the RYA childrens guide to sailing for the bedtime read. Baby boy passed out as soon as we got back, having been out patiently on the water watching daddy and sister.
It was by no mans idyllic however. As our first attempt at hiring sailing club boats, it took the best part of an hour and a half to locate all the masts, centreboards, helms etc and marry them up with the right boats. Meanwhile I kept the two dogs amused and kept feeding baby boy who claimed he was ‘starving’ every 5 seconds.
I then quickly learnt how to operate the outboard on the tender before the others set sail and felt too responsible when I noticed baby boy didn’t have his life jacket on (we had left them at the wetsuit shop). I waited on idle but the tide kept pushing me towards the moored boats. I kept turning, trying to keep an eye on my daughter while stopping my baby boy wrapping the dog lead round his throat. At the precise point my hubby shouted at me to retrieve my daughter when her sails were flapping, the dogs decided to have a fight. Outboard, dogs, baby boy and daughter in a dinghy were just a little bit too much to sort out. When we got her sorted, my hubby took of in the Laser then the beam came off the mast and promptly fell into the sea (he retrieved it).
He then had a good session while I helped my daughter wash her boat down and it reminded me of all the time and energy my parents spent helping me as a child at horse competitions. Despite the stress, you live for the moments when it all goes to plan and those moments are worth waiting for….when they eventually happen!
This blog is for UNICEF.
Thanks for reading.