Published 10:50 on 29 Oct 2019
Stretching our skills
"I wonder what it would be like to sail one of those things?" All of us had seen a Clipper boat, and when the opportunity came to sail one for a weekend under the expert tuition of Mike Parr, it was impossible to resist. So twelve Corinthians gathered at Gosport for a fascinating and memorable weekend.
Mike and his hand-picked mates Kat and Debs took us through two days of evolutions in the Solent in Force 3-5, spending the night in Cowes. Everyone helmed and worked in all the main positions. In addition we did a Man Overboard drill with a Bob of realistic size and weight being recovered by a "swimmer" winched down and up on the staysail halyard, with Bob winched up on the yankee halyard.
A much bigger boat really hones our skills partly because most things need more care and precision, and almost everything requires larger teams and more teamwork. Stretching the boat stretches our skills! It was also interesting to work the "coffee grinder" winch, find out what a tricing line was, and to begin tacks with: "ready to tack - runners back"
It's also inspiring to be in a boat that has circumnavigated so many times and in which so many people have had life-changing adventures.
There's some talk of taking two boats next year and maybe even gently racing them on the second day. Almost all of us would be up for that! Why not try it?
Last updated 15:47 on 3 September 2020