Keen Landlubber - SailNet Community
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Ad.
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Location: Australia
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Keen Landlubber

Hi All,

My name is Adam. I live 'inland' in the land down-under. Yes - I have one of those strange accents, weird sense of humour and fight off snakes on a daily basis. When I empty the bath the water spinds around the wrong way. Our great claim to encourage people to visit our country is to come and see... a rock. But it's admitidally a big one - big enough that we had to give it two names. It's also the country that brought you that TV show 'Neighbours'. I'm hoping people here can forgive us for that last one and that I'll be welcome here.

So - unfortunately I live roughly 3hrs from the closest coastline. (And that coast is not known for it's nice weather!) It's unlikely that my location will change for quite some time due to family and work commitments. That's the reason I contend with the land animals and don't have to worry so much about the sharks, blue ring octopus and stone fish.

What am I doing here? I have absolutely no idea. I woke up this morning - did a search on the internet and signed up. I'd ask for directions but I'm a bloke - and you know... that's just not the done thing.

I do have a keen interest in Sailing. Much of my interest is spent fantasizing, dreaming and watching others live their dream (and some their nightmares) on youtube. Maybe that's my mid-life crisis.

I did get an opportunity to bareboat charter a catamaran recently. I had no idea it would be possible for someone like me (both little experience and a general middle class income) to do that. I felt like a millionaire. (I thought you had to be wealthy and well experienced to be able to afford and even consider it - so it was a pleasant surprise when I saw that it was affordable and possible for a newby inner land dweller such as myself). The charter operator was fantastic. I was very than open about my experience (or lack thereof) and they said I had more experience than many who go there.

I had the time of my life. Got to shake off the dust and insects and exchange it for sand and seawater for a few days. Not only was it a different experience riding the waves instead of kangaroos I just love the way the boat roles on the waves. Especially when in bed. Kinda like being in a hammock but without having to rock yourself. It was also nice not having to check the inside of my boots for spiders every day too when I woke up too!

I didn't know much about what I was doing - I probably should have done a vlog - as I'm sure it would have given a lot of people some laughs (and cringes).

5 nights in total with first being very sleepless. I had no idea how much the responsibility would rest on my shoulders the way it did. Getting up all the time, checking to make sure the anchor hadn't slipped, that we were still in the same place, etc. This was a 42' catamaran. Prior to that my only boat experience was a dingy with an outboard, or sailing those tiny resort catamarans that are about the size of a back yard trampoline with a bed sheet attached that they only let you on when there's no breeze because it's otherwise "too dangerous".

Thankfully the area we chartered was very sheltered and safe.

That charter may have been a bit of a mistake though - in that it got me hooked - maybe even a little obsessed. I thought do it once - and get it out of my system - that I'd now be over the idea. Instead now I'm kinda stuck inner land dreaming about boats and being on the coast.

When I say I have a lot to learn that's an understatement. I don't know half the terms, don't know how to tie a bowline, and a traveler to me is a bloke with a swag walking between towns. (We had one on our boat - a boat traveler that is not a swagman, and I still don' have any idea what I was supposed to use it for. Someone said something about 'cheating' the wind).

But I have a keen interest and a desire to learn. I'm keen to save up and do another bareboat charter in a few years time (or sooner if things go well) but would love to know more about what I'm doing this time. Last time was very tame. Mainly using the headsail - reluctant to hoist the mainsail. No idea how to reef, done a few tac's - jibing scares me as I'm not sure how to control the swing or if it's going to break the mast, so I'd prefer to do a 300 tac than Jibe 60, but I'd like to learn the physics of it all. (Sorry if I'm using the wrong terms or spelling). One person I asked said you have to control it (didn't say how though - not quite helpful), another said you just let it swing across. Hmm... I decided that motoring instead was the wiser choice as I didn't want to risk braking anything (or anyone).

My absolute fantasy is to do a crossing. Out in the open water - the horizon to myself and mates. I guess it's a fantasy because I have no idea of what I'd really be in for - but I don't like to let reality get in the way of fantasies. Of course all this is in the realm of fantasy - life has me anchored pretty securely with the exception of getting away for a weeks holiday if I can.

My hope here is to gain a greater understanding of sailing, and learn as much as I can from a chair and keyboard with the hope that maybe one day I will be able to put it to good use. And maybe get some suggestions on links to some interesting vlogs for beginners as well.

I would love to learn properly and be taken through the ropes (excuse the pun) and I know there is no substitute to hands on training - but being so far away from the coast and current lifestyle challenges - books and internet learning will have to suffice for some time to come.

Well - that's me. I hope my sense of humour hasn't turned anyone off. I'm off to go find and buy a sailing simulator to hopefully learn a bit more.

Cheers

Adam.
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