The weather has turned. I know this because tonight I simply cannot warm up and my hands still hurt. Today was the double handed regatta and I was lucky enough to sail with Rob. Last night was the laying up supper.
The ridiculousness of the statement above was lost on me until I chatted through my weekend plans with Tamsin. "Oh, Laying up supper. What's that?" She questioned. I explained that we celebrated the end of the sailing year with dinner, drinks and a prize giving. I added it was where the boats were laid up and put away for winter. " Sounds lovely" she replied. "What are your plans for Sunday?" Sailing, was my response. "So you are immediately getting out the boats you have put away for winter?". Oh...
So this morning, with fuzzy heads from the previous evenings celebrations, we rigged the not laid up boats. I was to sail with Rob in his National 12 after a drunken conversation the night before. I woke at 4am in the morning in a cold sweat with the memory of such an arrangement and a vague recollection of the first winter storm coming through over night. Could I bail out? What's the protocol here of an arrangement made over a G and T. There was a "get out clause" surely? I shared my thoughts with Ed who told me to stop being ridiculous and promptly rolled over.
After a further 3 hours of fitful sleep, I packed my bag and dragged the boys to the club. It was a cold one. 4 degrees but with the wind chill it felt closer to zero. I don't own a dry suit. I'm a wetsuit sort of girl. I don't know why. Maybe it's my own private "get out clause". I climbed into my wetsuit and we both put on bobble hats set off.
National 12's are fairly tippy boats and constant work so it doesn't take long to work up a sweat. Rob was first to de-hat. After several bobble decapitations with the boom. I swiftly followed. Rob's boat has a lovely bench to slide from slide to side from. Rob was keen to roll tack and gybe we soon found our rhythm. 2 of my sons were also on the water and we had many jolly exchanges on the water.
A slight slip in the second race caused the boat to fill with water and we couldn't get the self bailers to work. We seemed to fill with water faster than it could clear. Despite enjoying pre race tic tacs (2 hours of freshness for just 2 calories) as race fuel, I started to get cold with my hands and feet in the water. We were due a break before the last race so I vowed to bring a bailer back out with me.
In the club kitchen I found a plastic cup and proudly showed Rob. He giggled and gently suggested we might need something a bit more substantial. A pot noodle pot stood on the table. He grabbed it and quickly swilled it out and we ran back to the boat.
The wind dropped and I straddled the boat and began to bail. It was cold, I was grateful for the warming activity. On the start line I announced to anyone close by what scoop I was on. That's 64 to the Enterprise, ooh now 88 to the RS200s. "Please stop begged Rob, you need to start sailing Jane we have 10 seconds before the gun". 100 Pot Noodle scoops and half the race later the bottom of the boat was clear. Stupidly I dropped the pot and had to call rescue to fish it out of the water for us. They threw it back to us with a smile and said we may need it later. Sure enough a few legs later we slipped again and filled the boat again. Another 100 scoops later we were clear.
The racing had been cold but fun. We came 2nd despite my slow bench sliding in roll tacks and Pot Noodle scooping. Rob is an excellent sailor and it was an absolute pleasure to sail with him.
So so are the boats now laid up? Not a chance, we're off to Weymouth next weekend!