2016 – Gibraltar RYA Competent Crew course

So having found the sailing school, and been introduced to my instructor I collect my bag and make my way to the yacht that would be my home for five days. ‘Pretty Woman of Plymouth’ a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey Legende… So I chose my cabin and waited to see what would happen next…

After introductions of everyone on board, There were four of us, the instructor, a male and female doing the RYA yachtmaster track and me. None of us knew each other so it would be interesting to see how well we all got on. Of course, me having the least experience and never having stepped foot on a such a big yacht before I felt a little out of my depth. (Understatement of the century!)
The guys doing the yachtmaster track, as part of their course, had to go through some of the health and safety with me, so after this, an introduction to the plan for the week and I’m sure other things that have slipped my mind… we had our first meal on board. Lamb shanks, and veggie chilli. There were lots of jokes being shared – which are obviously great at getting people to laugh together and break down barriers…

I remember the week being really interesting, I was quizzed on parts of the boat – which of course I didn’t know – especially the bits that were expensive that I hadn’t seen anywhere before hydrostatic thingymagigs etc…

So I had to learn a couple of knots (for some strange reason I love things like crochet and even splicing, but could I remember the bowline! Could I ever! I still have a mental block with it now! Flipping rabbits!!).

Anyway – the five days went really well, it was very muggy and warm…

I really enjoyed the sailing, I enjoyed the company of everyone on board. I did get a little tired on the second night sail and couldn’t stop giggling with my fellow female – which I know wasn’t helpful! Especially as I was on helm and couldn’t see for crying with laughter! I did try to stop the banter – honest!

Anyway – we sailed to a couple of places, La Linea, just across the border in Spain… I just remember there being a lovely moon in the evening and a conversation about blue moons… (the fact that they’re not blue, it’s just the name given to the second full moon that happens within a calendar month) oh and introducing the guys in my boat to ‘Arthur Moon’ and his little brother – ok I really am mad!

We stayed in La Linea a couple of nights in the week, where we practiced manoeuvring around the marina (I could do with more of that right now haha!) and ‘Man over boards’ in the bay – not much use when you’re solo sailing I might add!

We sailed over to Ceuta, which I loved (I love North Africa, so it made my week to be there), went to a lovely lido and had a very welcome mojito, a swim and a catch up with some of the people on the other ASA boats… then on to a lovely place for food…

Well, after being told to stop messing about by the Ceuta Marina Police, and picking up some rather suspicious packages on the way back and handing them in to the Gib police, we made it back to Gibraltar.

Well, I passed my competent crew and got a bit of a bug for sailing in Gibraltar and the warmer climate…