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Sailing Update & Dates VISA-GB

Sailing Update & Dates VISA-GB

Cane and (mainly) able – Majorca and more!

Sailing report by Tim – Website: https://visa-gb.org.uk/

Hello Shipmates and greetings, hope all well with you and these shortening days are giving you a moment or two to think back about the year past and plan for next.

What happened to October’s newsletter then? It’s a long story and the details of missed deadlines a tad dull but there have been some super, scintillating sailing stories to fill the long evenings so let me start with the madness of Majorca.

You’ll recall in the way back distant past we decided to see if the Balearicas might provide a top spot for us Visa-gb types, and we think it did.  So here’s a tail of Canes, able sailors and leaking dinghies:

From four different airports the valiant explorers jetted into sunny Palma, arriving mainly in one piece on Saturday 12th October, the sun shone, the taxi’s were waiting and we were whisked away to Pollensa Marina to the good ship Angora, our home for the next week.

Now on previous voyages one of the stand out features has always been the ability of the visually impaired crew to sort, stow and manage their kit and equipment in an orderly fashion.  It’s fair to say we broke new ground this time on the cane front!  Within minutes of arrival there was a trip to the bar, can’t quite believe that can you? Anyway imagine this, we leave the boat and the seven cane carrying crew suddenly become animated, start walking at different angles, some crabbing across the pontoon others almost bent double and this is before the welcoming beer!

The chatter starts “this isn’t my cane, who’s cane have I got?” and this marked the start of week of transferrable canes. Sailing, well that’s a piece of cake, navigating your way to the shoreside facilities with a cane for a six-footer when you’re only five foot six isn’t easy – but let’s leave that there as you’ll be able to imagine the chaos as this continued and get back to the trip.

On leaving the berth for the first time we managed to catch one of the lifebuoys on our neighbours’ rail, this dropped into the briny with a resounding splash, the wind whipping it out of reach of the flailing boat hook. Team Angora took this in their stride neatly mooring the yacht on the other side of the marina.  Volunteer oarsman and midship man were quickly volunteered and leapt into the inflatable dinghy to row over a rescue said lifebuoy – what could possibly go wrong?

A tearful farewell from the side deck as the two fearless fellows set off back across the main thoroughfare, dodging the large and gleaming motorboats, it’s fair to say that they went the scenic route, not a straight line was had in that epic 40 metre journey and some 50 minutes later they reappeared triumphant in their task, the return journey only marred by the gently deflating dinghy folding around them. Hauled aboard, dinghy repumped and we were at last off and away.

Sun, warm wind, flat sea and good humour made the sailing an absolute joy, the crew got the boat going well, worked out which bit of string did what as we practised setting the sails, tacking the boat and encouraging the skipper to make a cuppa.

The boat lacked a few of the standard essentials including a proper kettle, so the tea making became a complicated ceremony of pots and pans, mismatched mugs and an awful lot of biscuits.  We’d shopped until we dropped and loaded the boat with so many provisions we needed the best part of an hour to find the onions but only seconds to locate the beers, strange isn’t it!

Following a great days sailing, we dropped the anchor, let down the swim ladder and slipped into the warm Mediterranean sea, not bad for mid-October.  The days that followed repeated the pattern, rushing off at the crack of ten o’clock, perhaps anchor for lunch and a swim and then as the wind built in the afternoon some speed sailing towards the evenings mooring.

One day the wind blew a gale and the rain fell but there were things to do, walks to be had (don’t mention the canes again!), coffee to be drunk, stories to be told.

So will we go again, how can we do it better, should we go somewhere else?  All of this will follow once team Majorca have filled in their feedback forms, lost their suntans and let off their fireworks.  Further reports to follow, but before you go please read on.

Scotland 2020

Dates 18/04/20 to 25/04/20, cost £300 plus your transport , total of 28 berths, 20 already booked if you want you be a part of the Island Flotilla you need to contact Sue

Contact:  07767717440 or email: susiehogge@icloud.com.

Blind Week 2020

Falmouth 20/06/20 we’ve already got one boat booked for three weeks, leaving the Solent on 15/06/20 and returning 03/07/20 so there’s places for the journey down to Falmouth and the return, let us know if you’re interested as soon as possible, please contact Sue.

Contact:  07767717440 or email: susiehogge@icloud.com.

They’ll be much more to follow so keep we’ll keep you posted That’s all for now folks, all the best.