Sunday, 7 July 2013
Building confidence in small children, my non sailing wife and my new to skippering self is a slow and complex business. After a long period of slow solid progress sailing last summer and over the winter some of my patients slipped. After last years commitment to assist on every level, coming in when ever anyone wanted too and giving little responsibility to anyone regarding the handling of chuckle, I upped the anti with unreasonable expectations. Bad dad, bad skipper. A few months ago I left jenny on the helm in force 4-6 big clouds coming over to reef the main sail while underway with jib alone. Jenny did not have the experience to understand my request to keep the jib filled and kept turning into wind. Jenny panicked with the noise of the flogging sails the dark clouds and the impressive power of the wind and waves tossing us about uncontrollably and in a confused state screamed in front of the children. With out loosing my temper which was tempting at the time but recognising my own gross error I resumed control of the vessel and put chuckle in her usual and stable heaved too position, while I reefer the main. This incident has set back the children's confidence in there skipper and sailing, it has had the effect of making the wind the enemy to be feared so for the last two beautiful weekends we have had to come in early or hug the cliffs with strong offshore wind to prevent fits of fear of the wind. I have not written a blog for a while because it has taken me this long to come to terms with my failure as an impatient and inexperienced skipper. Yesterday we came in after ten minutes when Fergus decided he did not like the wind and our guest felt queasy. This was a great success, after a trip to the beach for a swim and dinner onboard, Fergus and Freyja were keen to tackle the challenge of sailing giggle in the now gentle off shore wind. After tacking back and forth across the beach in water you could stand in and see the few rocks sticking out the sand at the bottom, Fergus and Freyja took the tiller and called the orders and grow confidence in what to do. Basically they got it, tacking back and forth under there own command with dad sitting forward in the tiny dingy quietly trimming the boat, call me handy mobile ballast. The tricky bit for me now is not to expect to much from them, they have just got it, but have still got a long way to go, finding the right conditions so as not to put them off is going to be a trial of patients for us all. Giggle has saved the day and helped the wee ones find an achievable challenge for them to focus on.