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.