Jussie sails with Clipper 11-12

Jussie sails with Clipper 11-12
I sailed the last leg (8) in 2012 - USA,Nova Scotia,Ireland,Netherlands & UK. Travelling 4,000 miles, approx 22 days at sea, with 4 races in this leg.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Captain Jussie

Woohoooooo - thanks for this piccie captured by Kim

All wrapped up - Ninja Jussie

Here I am back in the 'sailing' mode about to have a few days at sea to refresh my skills. I didn't want to not be able to go sailing again this year, and leave until February '12 when doing a Clipper refresher course. I thought it was important to keep the momentum going, and have a chance to go over some basics again and conquer some areas I felt I lacked confidence in. I was nervous and excited and hoped wouldn't be sea sick either!

Hey, check out the yacht I was on over the weekend...great name - eh!! No reflection on me or anyone else ;)

Below, is Adam Tuffnell the skipper incharge over the weekend, and just getting set up with his electronics..men and their gadgets ;)

Also, for anyone interested in sailing check out Adam's website in this link for all you need to know/courses available White-Ocean Website

I was the first to arrive on Thursday 10th November and Adam was in the little galley cooking a mexican dish. The drive down was a nightmare, lots of traffic and sadly accidents and a perhaps 3.5 hour journey took me 5 hours (including a pit-stop on the motorway). I was quite tired upon arrival, but suprised at the lavishness of the yacht - a 34foot Bavaria, and had my own cabin - woo!! I guess from my Clipper training on a larger yacht with basics and a sling of material as a bunk with no privacy - I expected the same. So, happy days and I unpacked and made myself at home :)

Later that night, Kim and Julie arrived who I already knew from earlier in the year but not sailed with before (and they are both on a different yacht to me in the Clipper Race). It's nice when you get to meet and spend time with new people, an element I really treasure from this experience to date.

Here I am with Kim practising knots.....bowline, rolling hitch, clove hitch etc

Anyone would think Kim was moving in long-term - how much stuff ;) It's amazing really how much you need. One bag for sleeping gear, another for foulies, then another for base layers/boots/deck shoes/toiletries/clothing etc....it all adds up. But, I am trying to master less and pack well as for the race itself as there will be a weight restriction onboard the race. Also due to condensation packing everything in airtight 'drybags' is essential!

That night was spent eating our mexican wraps and having a good chat before we all decided it's time to sleep.

The next day another two people joined that being Honour and Javier and once breakfast done - time to set sail! Yippy!

My main concern is helming and I had plenty of practice - only small movements on the wheel are needed from left to right and centering the wheel each time. Otherwise the yacht swings from one side to the other...lol...I had a few of those moments and left a trail of zig-zag patterns in the sea when I looked behind me!

Oops splash effect look ;)

Woohoo!! Love the waves crashing over :)

I have uploaded some photos that follow below with a brief sentence, so enjoy until I write more.

Julie on the helm - it requires serious concentration you know ;)

Javier and Honour enjoying the view

Julie and I taking a 'smile' moment for the camera :)

And, I even get to helm in the dark.......

The weekend I joined for this sailing adventure, was actually a two part day skipper course - but, I just wanted to refresh my skills and get the experience back on the water. So, just did the one weekend. But, whilst I was there - still learned day skipper aspects which will help whilst doing my leg in the race. And here I am with Honour looking at charts and navigation planning.

And now night navigations....

On the Friday, I was 'mother' to cook for the crew and skipper and on the menu was chicken curry. It's actually quite hard to prepare and cook with such a tiny space and lots of prep was required cutting vegetables, cooking, washing up as you go along (where possible). The great aspect was that I was preparing/cooking on a relatively smooth sea and that will not always be the case. I remember for some of my training earlier in the year, being 'mother' and having to prepare drinks/foods when the yacht was at a 45 degree angle. Needless to say I did feel a little...green!!!

The view from above to below and you can see how small on the left the galley is.

And here is the space I had to to work with....its's small, but you manage...like you do on the Clipper yachts. Actually I love cooking and its quite normal for me to host parties at my flat and love making lots of food. Nothing makes me more happy than seeing my friends enjoy what I have prepared. I never manage to cook just enough...I cook way too much, and it is known to have 'goody bags' to take home after leaving mine :)

Chicken curry for 6!

After a day at sea and a heavy duty curry - it was time to report back to my cabin and catch up on some sleep.

It's lovely to wake up in the morning to tranquil waters and beautiful scenery.

Some of the perks being at sea :)

I love the peacefulness of this all.

So, a new day and time for more drills at sea and plenty of man overboard practices were done, and mooring onto buoys. It was good as we all had a turn to do each part of a drill whether ie: helming to a mooring buoy, lifting the rope, passing through a rope in the loop attached to the buoy etc.....so roles were equally experienced. This concept was done over the weekend in all aspects of day skipper. The benefits of a smaller group is that you DO get to learn and experience everything and have time to go over, question, and make sure you fully understand what/how to do things. To which really benefited me as to what I wanted to be able to gain from this weekend!

Sharing a happy moment with Kim

I have no idea what I'm pointing at..or even why this photo of me was taken like this, but, found it quite amusing - hence why on my blog ;)

Look at my serious focused face whilst at the helm!

Adam guiding me whilst helming - I am never serious - but I am when responsible for a 34 foot yacht and a crew of people on board. No time for full throttle and three point turns...not like driving on the roads!!

And finally I get to park! Didn't quite get to the spot required and moved up along the jetty...just aswell there were no other boats or it would have been a pile up! Most of us managed this task quite well when it was our turn at the helm to moor up...except...perhaps a couple others moved along too and if any yachts were there, would have been...aim and hit ;)

From helming and taking turns with the ropes to moor up - and being covered in pigeon poo from a jetty splattered..urm..not nice and very smelly. But, all part of the journey and I wouldn't change a thing. Like also having rough weather and waves crashing over, getting soaked from the sea/rain - all part of the experience.

Ok just a couple of random piccies here.

On Saturday night we all decided to go to a pub, eat, drink, share some giggles - before the last day training the following day. It has to be said by this point, I was truly exhausted and struggled eating my meal which is unlike me and by 10pm felt I could just drop my face on the table and fall asleep. We all left by 11pm and that hour I barely spoke much (again unlike me) as my body was shattered.

Here I am with Kim and Javier all smiles at the pub.

Sunday morning when we left port, the sea seemed more choppy and we were going against the tide. I did feel a little queasy and wasn't able to focus as my head was like a space cadet. I quite like the change in the sea, as I find it exhilerating - but do not like feeling unwell. I tried to focus but knew it was just a matter of time......hahahahaha!!!! And sorry Honour who saw my face change and told me to get to the back of the yacht......

Needless to say..........I felt better after and Honour gave me a rice cracker to help line my stomach - thank you.

After a short time, I was back on form and had more time helming and laughing about and absorbing all the drills again. Plenty of time was done with the sails and reefs in/out and learning about trimming and how when at the helm to know when adjustments were needed to the sails to aid helming making it easier. I eventually got a feel for this and noticed the difference it makes when at the helm. Happy Days!

We all arrived back at the Solent in the afternoon and spent time cleaning the yacht, and then I had a de-brief with Adam. I was happy to know that Adam felt I had done well, and this weekend meant so much to me as conquered perhaps fears I had/or areas I felt I lacked confidence in. The next time I sail again will be in February next year. Then, I fly to New York at the end of May to join the final leg of the race. I do not want to let anyone down and want to feel confident with my sailing skills and get ready for the challenge of a lifetime for me.

I know this has never been done before by anyone who has had a double-lung transplant, and I really hope I can do this, and inspire others that there is hope and that organ donation really does give a life and has made me have a life!

Driving back - I felt a little teary eyed and happy, sometimes my emotions get the better of me. I find it hard to share and feel better that I have my private moments as don't expect people to understand how little things make me happy and smile. Also, thinking about my donor - a day doesn't go by when I don't think of him and how I still breathe for him.

So..that's almost a wrap. Loving life and smiling and may get to blog again before Christmas...it certainly has been an amazing year with highs and lows. Phew....deep breath out.....

Over xx

1 comment:

  1. Hi Justine

    A really great blog.

    You did brilliantly, it was great to sail with you at long last.

    Well Done!