Sorry that was a bit of an abrasive start wasn't it? Ah well I got your attention I guess.
I've arrived home from Cowes Week, and what a week it was! Some snobby sailors and pro sailers and of course drunken sailors, not that you can't be all three of course - and lots more besides.
I was on Exocet Strike, a Beneteau First 40.7 Distinction cruiser racer - a pretty cool boat, in class IRC 3 which was a pretty good handicap too, first day we were 7/40 and second we dropped down to 17/40 which hurt a bit but still we got better and considering we were a light crew of 14, all thrown together from places as far as Germany - it was good, some good results.
The crew consisted of JD - skipper, Paul - mainsheet, Brian - foredeck, Dane - spinnaker guy, Christophe - foredeck, Ruth, Nikki, Sharon, Jackie and Kay - rail, Ken - nav, Jon - spinnaker, Craig - main, and me - spinnaker trim!
I stayed on board the boat which was an experience in itself with 5 other guys! We moored in East Cowes marina which is quite a new one, most of the shoreside action is in West Cowes so you take the water taxi or floating bridge across the Medina after races to register and meet people and stuff.
I met so many different people from boats or the shops in town and other crews, I didn't drink except for one day so I have some funny stories that the rest of the crew swear didn't happen! I got contacts and crew offers from all kinds of sailors all over Britain, given to me when they were drunk but the great thing is they remembered me when they were sober! Everyone seemed to assume I was older than I was and the core crew of JD, Brian, Dane, Paul and Chris used me as their mascot - being the only girl among them. I also was asked to do bizarre things in the bar like order drinks to get them cheaper and order the crew shirts and um lift up my top so that some UKSA students would give us hats - I didn't do the last one, I wasn't that drunk! Although Mount Gay Rum is quite nice at 1am - swiftly followed by some dodgy looking kebabs on the way back to the boat, followed again by watching Ken fall in the marina after 15 pints - his wife wouldn't let him home.
We didn't eat much good food since we tried eating while sailing but then we had to crash tack and the skipper yelled something like 'Throw those fucking sandwiches away and ready about!' So lunch was at about 4pm and dinner at 11pm/12am usually with bacon rolls and lots of caffeine at about 6:30am.
I wanted to write so much but I can't write it all down now, couldnt even if I wasn't too bruised to try, too shattered to try.
Plus now I'm realising that I'm back in Guernsey when I'd rather be with the crew in the Yacht Haven or on the mainland, so I'll leave you with a few words scribbled on the back of the Flybe magazine on the 30min flight home.
Look down there,
At that flat sea,
And the patchwork fields I know off by heart,
The land I need,
The one I hate to leave,
Watching it speed away,
Feeling my cheeks grown wet,
Crossly wipe the tears away,
Wishing I was there.
I know I'll be back one day for good,
Alone in my real home,
The sky grows pink,
The sea so soft I want to jump,
Fall into the blue,
Down where I belong.
x x x