Thursday, September 26, 2013

El Fuego y la Lluvia

"I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end."

This the the 13th (or maybe the 14th) day we are enjoying at Minorca Sailing.

The weather this week has been gorgeous. Warm sunny days with light winds filling in around 10:30am and usually strengthening throughout the day to perfect Laser hiking and planing weather in the afternoons. We had one cool day last week (I think) and two or three very windy days at the weekend. But my memories are all starting to merge together into one hazy remembrance of sun and spray and waves and happy experiences with good sailing friends.

Where was I? Where am I? What was my last post about? Oh, yes. Winning the pursuit race last Friday.

Saturday was the start of our second week here and so also the start of repeats of the morning instruction schedule. Tacks and gybes again. But it was a different instructor and different wind conditions so I learned different things. In the afternoon I skipped the racing and went off and practiced by myself some of the things I had learned in the morning. I feel like I need to do that to reinforce new skills or change old bad habits.

Sunday was also about upwind sailing in the morning but in the afternoon, my friend and I went out (with an instructor) on the Laser SB3.

It wasn't quite as windy as that picture!

Our instructor said there wasn't enough wind to get out of the bay. But we did. Escape! Sailing on the wide wild Mediterranean.

Our instructor said we wouldn't be able to use the spinnaker coming back down the bay. But we did! 500 square feet!  A bit bigger than a Laser sail, I think?

Monday was all about downwind sailing in the morning class. Did more solo practice in the afternoon. It's almost a Zen thing. Me and the winds and the waves and my little boat just absorbed in repetitions of one skill. Is it making me a better sailor? Who knows until I get back into the afternoon races again?

Tuesday was the sea sail. Woo hoo! The best thing about Minorca Sailing. We get to sail our little boats out on the wild and wide open Mediterranean. I was chomping at the bit to get going. Some times in other years the winds have conspired to prevent us from escaping the bay. But on Tuesday we made it! Did some upwind and downwind drills out on the open sea and enjoyed the magnificent wild scenery of Menorca's northern coast.

Wednesday was the class about mark rounding. During the drills I learned a wild trick about how to overtake 10 boats near the windward mark. Don't ask. I'm not revealing my secret. I might need it in a real race one day. In the afternoon I joined the weekly series for the final day. My friend that came with us from America had pretty well sewn up the weekly series but it was fun to join the races because we had the GPS trackers on the boats so we could enjoy watching all the mistakes we made on the replays in the evening over a few large beers.

Thursday is today. We practiced starts in the morning and then I sailed the regatta in the afternoon. Wild shifts with gusts and holes. Almost like lake sailing. I have no idea where I finished in the regatta what with all the handicap adjustments for Radials and so on. I will find out at the awards ceremony at Ca Na Marga tonight.

Wait. What time is it? 6:30pm? Time to put on my glad rags for the party. See you later.


Keep Reaching said...

Will you at least reveal how to overtake 9 boats at the windward mark?

Tillerman said...

Maybe in some future post...

Watch this space!

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