After returning from a coffee we found a group of lads looking over the harbour wall, waves smashing up the side. There, in the water completely submerged, were our dinghies, barely afloat. Even the outboard was underwater!
Jamie makes it as ‘technical advisor’ in April’s edition of Sailing Today, which sees his initial review of the famous American folding dinghy in print. In the article Jamie looks at the simplicity with which the boat is commissioned, and takes it for a row. The review will be followed up in six months time when he puts the outboard on the back, takes it into rougher weather and attempts to stow it on deck.
You can see the full review by subscribing to Sailing Today online; better still, head down your newsagent and buy a copy!
A few weeks ago I received an invite to attend the Kerala Watersports Sailing Organisation Certificate Awards. I’d already met Captain Jolly Thomas who is the man responsible for teaching young children how to sail their little, second-hand Optimist dinghies. In a country that has no real sailing heritage and with next to no funds Jolly has achieved the near-impossible by creating a small but successful sailing club for children. Set up as a charitable organisation the least I could do was attend the ceremony and maybe invite a couple of other western sailors to join me. Terry of ‘Roam II’ and Brian and Maureen of ‘Suryana’ came along to give their support.
Boating is about pleasure but if there is one thing that gets me down it’s having to repair yet another puncture in my dinghy. The coral beaches of Eritrea gave our Tinker a real thrashing and quite frankly I got fed up with lugging this huge weight on and off Esper every time we wanted to go ashore. Liz and I decided, therefore, to treat ourselves to an unsinkable, indestructible, lightweight, folding Portabote. It stows like a surfboard, commissions in minutes and is fast! Check out the first of two reviews of this boat, including a video clip of the assembly. Worth every penny? Quite possibly. Strangest looking thing on our boat? Very definitely…
This last week has been dramatic to say the least. You’ll find out more in the coming weeks when the podcasts and photographs of our progress are published. Bear in mind we now have to be mindful of what we make public knowledge and what we hold back, so there will be a delay in what we report on. In the meantime we’ve been sitting out some nasty southerlies in this safe little anchorage and yesterday we had some fun. Our tender, which is a British-built Tinker, doubles up as a sailing dinghy so Cillian of ‘Cobble’ and myself put a bit of effort into rigging her up and taking her for her maiden sail! Is this the first ever Tinker to sail in the Red Sea? Maybe, maybe not, but what is impressive is that I’ve successfully managed to upload a video clip of said maiden voyage. Listen out for the gay Egyptian soundtrack!
It does, thank Neptune, and when we reach Gocek, we anchor up some 50 yards from the pontoon and board “Tinker”, a dinghy that has seen better days. Why is it though, that when men get into a dinghy or a canoe, they feel as though they have to paddle like the clappers to reach their destination? Everything on water is a race, I call it the “Columbus Effect”.
What didn’t help, however, was the autohelm playing havoc with the steering. It kept locking up! It was starting to get so bad that it was taking over the steeting of Barnacle Bill, often pointing us in the direction of immediate danger. As we approached the south of Sark, heading towards an eastern cardinal warning us of very shallow water, we decided to take drastic action.