I head off by train to Portsmouth Harbour later today to then take the foot ferry over to Gosport Marina for my Level 3 training, involving 6 days at sea (the Channel and Solent most likely, but I have my passport just in case!).
Level 3 will focus on practicing how to hoist, drop and sail with an asymmetric spinnaker (gennaker), as well as consolidating all that was covered on my Level 1 and 2 training weeks last year…they feel so long ago! It’s going to be an intense week and one that begins at 8am tomorrow in the classroom for an Advanced Safety theory day.
Meanwhile, I spent last night gathering all my stuff for a week at sea (not much at all to be frank) and packing it all into water-tight clear plastic bags before stashing into one large soft holdall, as stowage aboard is scarce and dry stowage, non-existent. Given I don’t wash or change clothes regularly at sea, I only have two sets of clothes for the week and a very pared down ‘wash bag’ that really only contains toothpaste and brush and some serious antiperspirant that is only applied twice a week. Life aboard a Clipper 70 racing yacht is not for people who like to feel fresh and manicured!
I have been sourcing kit on a non-existent budget, so unlike many of my fellow race crew who look the part in all their high-end sailing kit, I have been getting through my race training by resourcefully re-using bits of kit I use when hiking or camping (e.g. quick-drying camping towel and walking trousers) and sourcing second-hand sailing boots and an ex-army bivvy to keep my regular synthetic sleeping bag dry. In time I will need to upgrade my land-lubber kit for the race itself – especially my camping head-torch, Aldi-sourced merino thermals/base layer, ebay-sourced sailing gloves and regular prescription sunglasses, but for now, they seem to do the job adequately for training….I just hope I can more than adequately sail with my crew mates this week – hence those Clipper wet notes and Kwells tablets 😉