Sailing on a CAT

What a way to spend an afternoon on yet another glorious day! The feeling of the cool stiff breeze on your face, the deep greeny blue water spraying you head to toe when you least expect it, and catching just the right amount of the sun’s rays – no wonder Scottie says it’s THE best hangover cure.

Scottie, yeah yeah the sick one from the Mt Barney trip (you know the one) is actually an avid sailor. So when the opportunity arose to go sailing on his wildly fast Hobie 16 I jumped at the chance.

Rigging up a boat that only weighs 100 something kilos was a new experience for me. No need for a car, you just push it around like a ragdoll.

With so much gear to put on, it felt as if I was ready to catch a pass in a gridiron match – sunshirt, one oversized jumbo lifejacket, another long sleeved sunshirt and harness… a harness to go sailing – now that’s my cup of tea!

With the wind out on the water blowing a perfect 15-20 knots and both of us 100% sober I might add, Scott pointed out a tally of 14 marks on my harness – the number of times the wearer has been pitchpoled.

Think of pitchpoling this way, you’re busy adjusting oodles of ropes when oops, the bow digs into a wave, and the boat cartwheels over sending you sailing through the air into the drink. Quite spectacular from an outsiders perspective I’d imagine.

Out of the harbour in record time things got interesting quickly. Just as I came to terms with leaning over the water in my harness we strike a sandbar. Now not to blame anyone but who was on the tiller again Scottie?

Back up and running after our little mishap I was shocked how fast we cut through the water, like a hot knife through butter. We maxed out at 17.7 knots (32km/h) before Scott said “let’s see if we can pitchpole it”. Sounds crazy right but somewhere deep down I thought it would be a pretty awesome experience, but it wasn’t to be.

I thought I was ready to take the reigns and Scott did too so he gave me a go in the hot seat – total control of the boat. We were scooting along having a whale of a time and about two minutes later we were being thrown seaward, this time completely unplanned. Whoops my bad.

At least Scott had his priorities right as we were both falling from a good two metres up, “Don’t put a hole in the sail” he yelled.

Our first attempt at swinging the boat back up proved a disaster. We (okay maybe it was more my fault) re-capsized it onto the other hull AND dug the mast into mud. Not a bad effort if I can say so myself.

Eventually we got back up and this time headed for the warmth of shore. Surprising how cold it gets after an unplanned swim combined with chilling winds. While I’m shaking like a leaf Scottie says how he’s “toastie” in his wetsuit. Cheers for that mate.

Back on shore and reheated we enjoyed soaking up the last of the suns rays while sipping on a nice cool bevvy. Such a sweet day.

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