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SAILING

††††††††††† My first experience of sailing was on my colleagues yacht in New York harbour when he gave me the helm and a few basic instructions.† I took to it immediately and in just a few minutes was pushing it as hard as I could; gunwales awash, boat healing precariously over, lots and lots of spray and seemingly quite an audience waiting to see me capsize itÖ.but I didnít!† I didn't even wrap the boom around my head 'coming about'. When my colleague took it back to the moorings, some spectators commented that I sure was enjoying myself.†† Do not misunderstand me; (or in modern American parlance ĎDonít get me wrongí); Iím not saying that was correct sailing, but it certainly whetted my appetite and that boat had never been pushed so hard, I was told by the owner; a wonderful experience.

††††††††††† Some months later, back in Blighty, I saw an old Uffa Fox nineteen-foot dinghy for sale so could not resist exchanging it for one of my cars.† To sail it, we (my wife and I) towed it to Willen lake in Milton Keynes and, together with a handful of like-minded greenhorns, formed the† Sailing Club.†† There were no developments there in those days.† We were all amateurs and helped each other learn to sail.† Countless capsizes ensued but learn we did.

††††††††††† One day a chap turned up with a 'Sheerwater' catamaran, a pioneering boat by 'Prout'.† He flashed past me just like a car passes bicycles, shouting, 'Wanna buy a fast boat'.† I shouted back in the affirmative and so did.† That was it, catamarans and speed for me.† So here it is (below) on Willen Lake marching on well, hence the appropriate name 'Avanti'.

††††††††††† It can be seen that the sails of the cat, a Sheerwater, are well and truly blown out, so I soon acquired a more modern racing cat; a Condor with slim hulls and new sails.† It was not long before I learned how to control it fully.† I could do pirouettes, sail it backwards across the lake whilst standing on one pointed end (bow, I learned) and with both rudders out of the water. I could, tow boats off lee shore rocky bays without getting stuck or damaged myself, and rescue overboard sailors in high winds.† I even used to carry on sailing in storms when all the other boats had run for cover. Just about the only thing that I could never do was to win a race against other cats.† You see, all my skills came from driving cars and motorcycles.† Sidecar-in-the-air was one of my silly specialties, especially with unsuspecting passengers in the chair but I never crashed it.† My handicap was that I could not and cannot read, nor allow for, the wind; consequently I could not sail in a straight line, the shortest distance between two points.† I always sailed in a series of arcs, thus having to travel further than more skilled sailors. That is no way to win.


Note that one hull in the left hand picture is barely visible; the guy on the wire is one of my sons.

††††††††††† Anyway, Willen Lake soon proved too small for me so I started sailing on Graffam and Rutland waters.† I cannot remember why I changed over to a seagoing mono-hull cruiser, seen here from about one mile away, hence the poor quality; her name was Blue Chip and this is my wife, Antonietta, and myself aboard.

††††††††††† I enjoyed hairy broaches in strong winds but soon yearned for a catamaran again, besides, no seasickness for Antonietta with catamarans;†no spilled drinks either, whatever the conditions.

This time I swapped for a James Wharram string and chewing gum seagoing twenty-seven foot 'Tani' that I acquired from the Humber and sailed to Wells where it remained until I lost it as with all my other possessions.† Could have happened to any naive gullible trusting, goon like myself, though there canít be too many of us, I guess, but enough to keep the unscrupulous in business.† Anyway here it is; on the left is the actual advertisement that prompted me to view it in the first place. The picture on the right is believed to be my catamaran on the Humber in the hands of the well known previous owner Bill Hathers, but I would not swear to it. Anyway, here endeth my sailing days.


LINKS TO G4TUG SUBJECTS
About Me (index) Ham Radio Cars
Hobbies RodLog Ham Radio Logging System Software Reading
My Diet Magnetic Loop Antenna Sailing
Computers Noise Figure of Receivers and Pre-amps Gardening
Links to other sites Experimental HF All Band Aerial Classic Films