Monday, March 17, 2008

Sailing for Tomorrow

Sat Feb 16

One last day of practice in Australia before the real action starts at the Old Farts Laser Worlds on Sunday. Not a day to do too much. Need to conserve some energy for what should be two races a day for six out of the next seven days. And it may well be big wind and waves. That's what they promised us.

So I just sail for an hour or so, trying to get comfortable with the conditions and familiar with how the boat feels on every point of sail. I warm up with two reaches, one on each tack. Then a long upwind, experimenting with the vang tension to see what works best. A few simulated starts and a few leeward mark roundings around an imaginary mark.

More upwind. Then a long run sailing on starboard tack by the lee. Vang very loose. Going as far by the lee as I can until I do an involuntary gybe. Just getting a feel for the limits. Then a port tack broad reach. Wheeeeeee. Yeehow!

That's enough. A good day without wearing myself out.

Back to the apartment for lunch of bread, cheese and dates with Tillerwoman. Wash it down with a bottle or two of James Squire Amber Ale.

Aforementioned Mr. Squire was a convict who was transported from England to Australia with the First Fleet in 1787 for the heinous crime of stealing five hens and four cocks. The story goes that once in Australia he stole some supplies to make some beer. Apparently the beer was so good that he was let off lightly with a sentence of only 150 lashes. I guess convicts who stole were usually executed.

After serving his seven year sentence, James became a successful businessman in the Sydney area, was the first to have success in growing hops in Australia, and he opened a brewery and a popular tavern.

This is a wonderful country. Growing up in England our heroes were the explorers, generals and admirals who spread the British Empire around the world. In the USA where I live now the most revered founders of the nation are the 18th century land-owning slave-owning gentlemen farmers who became revolutionaries. In Australia they honor such blokes as James Squire, a thief who founded a brewery. I love this place.

Another bottle (or two) of Amber Ale is consumed. Life is good.

4 comments:

yochris77 said...

Now that you have left AUS it is probably too late, but .... The head brewer of MSB is Chuck Hahn. He has been the promoting that different beers go well with different flavours of food.

I was told that beer goes well with chocolate. Well everyone knows that beer and chocolate are 2 things that definitely don't mix well. I would have preffered to eat my own hat.

I was given some chocolate hedgehog slice and a bottle of James Squire Porter - absolutely magic. Give it a go! I am now eating my words! Anyone know a beer that might make that taste better!

Tillerman said...

I also discovered while down under that chocolate cake and sweet shiraz go superbly well together.

Joe said...

Aw Oz, no pretense. But damn Dog, they eat vegemite. How does that go with sweet shiraz?

Tillerman said...

Vegemite is pretty good. And also useful to wear behind your ears for protection during the dropbear season.

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