Thursday, 14 February 2013

Awesome Dubai



Will shared this on Facebook and I couldn't resist including it here. Yes, I do miss the desert. I do miss my friends and I do intend to visit again some day soon. Raukura is getting married and that would be the best excuse ever, only I'm in New York that weekend. I've been looking at my leave options for 2013 and feel a Europe/UAE trip coming on. A catch up with Di and her family then on to see those left in the UAE, hopefully via Georgia so see Natia.

That is if I'm still here in the Caymans. My contact here ends soon, my job is being internally advertised as it has to be. I like that the Government works so hard to ensure sustainability in their reform. Ex-pats like me come and go, locals are ideal to lead the ongoing reform programme. It's a waiting game, I may be on the lookout for work in the near future. In the mean time, I'm having a relaxing day off for Ash Wednesday, a much needed mid week rest.


Monday, 11 February 2013

Mayhem on the water

Duck! That's me in the HH life jacket

Close racing

Some close racing yesterday captured by Rick and Mary. The wind and water were lively, exciting flying along dicing with others. Today is another race day, much stronger winds for me to drag my sore body out for another 4 races. Fun! 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Weekend sailing

Starboard!
The crew
Saturday was an awesome day to be out on the water. One photo shows Blue Runner dicing with another boat, the other the crew watching Stinky. Thanks Harbor House for the pics.  The racing was good, the company excellent with three kiwis on the crew, the result was not as we wanted. A second. The dolphin was with us all the way, usually a good luck charm. Not today, we just enjoyed his company. 

It turned out that Sunday was not such a good day to sail. It was a little rough, choppy waves and moderate to high winds. I must say I wasn't that enthusiastic on going out for some reason, unusual for me. I must have known what was going to happen!

We tacked  few times, I had some repairs to do laying across the boat at a precarious angle while sorting ropes and that went okay. It was beginning to be fun. Then we headed out for race practice with another boat. We hit some quite big waves, I hung on at the front. The next tack, I stood and headed to my usual position to round the mast. Suddenly the boat tipped more than it should have and the mast gap closed. I had nothing to hang onto and off I went careening down the deck, grabbing at ropes that didn't hold, and over the side. I hit the water hard and went under the boat as it tipped back up then flattened. 

Luckily I had my life jacket on. It pushed me up as the boat went down. I got a small hit on my head and then popped out and the lifejacket kept me upright.  I was in the water a little while until they could get close enough to grab me, tricky in the rough seas and shifty winds. Lucky the water was warm, the cold set in a bit later. 

I'm not sure if it was concussion or a bit of shock, probably both, but I didn't feel that well. We had to abandon practice, I was quite shaky. It took me a while to warm up and I was really sore with a bad headache. My couch got some time and I after an early night, I felt better except for the sore bits. 

Next weekend is more of the same, two days of racing on Mayhem. I'll be up for that, there's series points on the line as well as a place in Race Cayman. I'm in New York that week so won't be here for the second year running for this international event. Last year I was at Noah's second birthday party, hard to believe he will be three soon. How time flies. 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Stinky


I'm not actually sure why he's called Stinky or who gave him the name. I first heard it from Pete, he'd just had a dolphin encounter of the close kind. The photo is as we came in to dock at Kaibo, thanks to Aussie Jen for having her camera handy. I was looking down at him from Blue Runner, my feet are in the picture. My sailing shoes could actually be called stinky too.

It's amazing flying along in full sail and having a dolphin swim alongside. When the boats heeling, he actually gets quite close. He glides along with us then disappears under the boat and jumps out on the other side. It's such a privilege to be part of his world. In saying that, I have been in the water with him once and he gets quite aggressive. I keep my distance, others are foolish enough to get quite close.

We got second today, a close race with the catamaran. It seemed easier today, maybe I'm beginning to know what I'm doing on the bigger boat. Last weekend I met an amazing lady with wonderful stories of a time long passed. She was a sailor once and came with us on the return trip. Bruce got her to helm for a bit, a real treat. One of the youngsters who sails with us, Alex, had this lovely lady as his grandma. After talking with her last weekend, I think I've convinced her to write her story. A love story of two ships passing in the Suez Canal, of long distance letters that somehow found their mark and chance meetings. The stuff movies are made of.

Tomorrow is another sailing day, practice for the big weekend of racing next weekend. The wind may be livelier than today, all adds to the fun. Sticky may even join us.