Aannsha’s Blog #34 – A week of many intense firsts

Adventure movies

Watching an adventure movie can cause you to feel excited and nervous. The outcome isn’t assured, so there’s often a sense of sitting on the edge of your seat willing the heroes on to the final triumph, where they get to their destination, reach their goal or find that priceless artefact. It can leave you feeling exhilarated and joyful as you identify with the hero, delighting in their daring-do and courage, and their triumph at the end of the movie.

Well, we’re all heroes in our own movies aren’t we? And for Baz and myself this week has definitely been one of those daring-do times, where we’ve faced many first times for so many things, and for many of these we’ve each had to dig deep and pluck up the nerves to take care of our own assigned tasks in order for Team A B Sea to achieve our desired outcomes. Some of our firsts have been fun things like taking the dinghy to shore at Playa L’Albir for the first time. Some have left us feeling crappy, like when I got motion sickness. Many others have been immensely intense.

Because I was out of action for a couple of days feeling very rough due to sea sickness, which was exacerbated by being in a rolly mooring, I’m having to get this blog out the evening before you read it, so please forgive that I’m writing it partly in point form, and partly as notes.

So what first time moment stand out for this week?

  • First time out of the marina on our own – boy was this a doozie! Our big maiden voyage into the big blue!I was looking forward to setting out on our real sailing adventures, but I’d also been having anxious thoughts about the boom slamming.I’d put it down to my nervous uncertainty as to what to do if there was an accidental jibe (as I wrote about in last week’s blog). Maybe my spider senses had a hunch that it wasn’t going to be plain sailing this day.

  • First thing to break – it was the block that held the main sheet to the traveller. Fortunately we were only 3.25 nautical miles out from the marina on our first day into the unknown, when BAM! There was a loud noise and the boom went slack, swinging to one side. I missed what happened as I’d been checking the wind direction to keep us pointing into the wind while Baz raised the mainsail. Luckily, Baz did some lightning fast trouble shooting and temporary fixing and we headed back to the marina. What’s interesting for me is that what happened that morning closely resembled what I’d kept picturing in my head previously and had interpreted as an accidental jibe. I’d certainly felt very nervous the morning when we left the marina, but once the block broke and we had it fixed that afternoon, my nerves settled. It turns out it was one of the original 23 year old fittings. We’ll have to get some spare blocks in case any others decide to break.

The moment the block broke!

  • First time for seasickness, that hit me as we left the marina – of course, nerves can be a contributing factor to motion sickness and I was very wound up that morning. But it didn’t help matters that I couldn’t instantly help Baz very much that morning due to feeling absolutely debilitated by seasickness. I did take a pill the moment I realised things were going pear shaped, but that didn’t kick in until we got back to the marina. I wouldn’t mind but I haven’t had it before. Even when we’d been sailing in Force 6 seas in Gibraltar on our sailing course I was fine all the time. So why, on a comparatively calm day, did it happen? Who knows. It has left me cautious though. My biggest concern is that it may happen to me again. And when you’re a short-handed crew, both people are vitally important. At least I have a stash of motion sickness pills and also ginger essential oil, plus (now) know where the acupressure points are (3 finger widths down on the inside of each wrist – press in between the tendons).

  • First time out of the marina and actually getting somewhere – Yay! Sunday morning we left bright and early and felt very confident it was going to be a great passage. We were planning to go to Tabarca island, but decided against it as it looked as if it would be packed (well it is high season in Spain), so we made an executive decision to head towards Javea as it was so early.

  • First sail – we did get some good wind and while I was at helm, Baz unfurled the mainsail and the genoa like an old pro. (Some who know his past life as a professional DJ would probably agree with that term, but have different connotations … but I’ll leave it at that!)

  • First motor sail – the wind wasn’t constant though, and we decided to do a spot of motor-sailing, hoping the wind would pick up again.

  • First motor – the wind didn’t pick up, so Baz furled away the sails while I helmed again. It would have been nice to have sailed a bit more, but we were so happy to be out on the beautiful b