This winter seems to have consisted of one storm after another, so it has been nice to think about summer plans. I made an early start and travelled down to the Limehouse HQ of the Cruising Association for their annual Baltic planning conference. We are planning to take Aurora to the Stockholm archipelago this summer and there were a number of details to sort out. It has been an interesting and informative day, finding out from those who have done it many times how to get about. I feel more confident now and even more enthused with our adventure plans. Bring on some settled weather, so I can break the duck for our ’14 sailing…..
We attended the Gaffers’ AGM at Greenwich Yacht Club last month, acting on a tip-off from Sue Farrer of the North Wales section of the OGA. We (or, more accurately Aimee and Alice) were delighted to be awarded the Grumpy II cup. This is an award given to youngsters, in our case to recognise Aimee’s helping skills and Alice’s enthusiastic crewing (well, throwing water at other boats mostly) at the Traditional Boat Festival in Holyhead last summer.
Photo by Pete Farrer
On the back of that, Aimee was asked to write a piece for the Gaffers Log, which will be appearing in March:
Our boat is called Aurora; it’s a Cape Cutter. It’s nineteen feet long and we often sail in it, and sleep on it. It may be small and cramped, but us four all fit in it – snugly.
Before we had a gaffer, we had a dinghy and I went to a dinghy sailing club where friends and memories were made and doors were opened. I remember going sailing with friends from school and the next day we’d pretend to be world-class sailors.
We’ve taken Aurora on many trips all over Britain, since we got her in July 2012. Last year was a very eventful one; Dad adding all sorts of gadgets and gismos to our little boat and going out on many adventures all over the place.
My three favorite things about sailing are…
Firstly, I enjoy meeting people. For example, when we went to the Holyhead Traditional Boat Festival, I enjoyed seeing all sorts of boats, including pirates with cannons. I even got to go up a mast in a bosun’s chair and I could see for miles around! There was racing at the festival and I helmed Aurora. Our little boat may not be the fastest, but it was fun and I felt as if I could sail around the world.
Another favorite of mine is going on adventures and getting soaked. On many occasions, my sister Alice and I would jump off Aurora at anchor and swim ashore. There are many examples and one of the most enjoyable was when went to Falmouth with friends and family. We explored the seas along with Zephyr (another Cape Cutter) and, yes, we did get wet. We trekked beaches and swam in the chilly sea, had breakfast on the boat with a lovely view of the shore and I even got to crew on a Catamaran; I leaned back so far my head went into the water!
My third and most exciting highlight of last season was when my sister and I were awarded the Grumpy Cup II. I don’t know why it’s called ‘grumpy’ but it’s a very good description for my sister (just kidding!). I was very taken aback when our names got called out at the AGM. When my mum told me there were going to be awards given out, I said that there was no point in going, as we never get awards. At first, I was annoyed that mum didn’t tell us she knew about the prize before the AGM, but I was glad it was a surprise. I felt proud, happy and a bit embarrassed all at the same time.
My sister Alice said, “I felt very happy about getting my first trophy. I took it into school and the head teacher gave it out again in assembly. My favourite thing sailing last year was the regatta in Holyhead- I loved sailing around in the parade throwing buckets of water to splash people on other boats; I got really wet. Our friends on another Cutter (a pilot cutter called Mary) let me go up their mast in a harness. I wanted to stay up there all day!”
Those were my favorite things of last year. So that’s why enjoy sailing so much; all that adventure, all those memories and all that fun.
By Aimee Erb (12) and Alice Erb (8)