Competent Crew

It’s been a while since the last blog… but what a couple of great weeks we’ve had! Simply fantastic. In short, it comes down to the fact that we are now infected by sail addiction and qualified RYA competent crew. The best part: it’s just the start.

The long version started in the North of Thailand where we jumped on our last-time-ever-30-hours bus drive to Phuket. Blehh. Luckily days of relaxing were waiting for us to onboard our new sailing adventure fresh. A bit of a shame that we ruined all freshness during my birthday party… but oh well, fun party with live rock music and we made it to the Yacht Club in time and in full. Ready to meet the crew and Sade 2, a 38 ft Harmony and our sail ‘home’ for the coming weeks.

5 days of sailing, 250 nautical miles and a lot of learning, fun and wow-moments later we checked into Langkawi island in Malaysia as certified RYA competent crew. Step 1 on our way to become a Yacht master.

The week was fantastic. Great crew and great team in the first place. Ian, an Aussie, another guy, called Ozi, a world citizen and up for his Yacht master too, our Scottish instructor, Keith, and us, the two newbies. Some of the evenings we shared ashore with the crew of Kay Sira (boat number 2). All together a good bunch of people, love for sailing and all busy to make dreams come true.

What we enjoyed the most? It’s hard to tell. It could be the 60 miles passages. Making speed without an engine. Feel the wind. Or the time when we were caught in downpour, fog and thunder around us. Feel the weather. Or when we jumped in the ocean to swim through an 80-meter cave to enter a hidden beach, surrounded by 360-degree jungle. The beauty of planet earth. And then we have not mentioned yet our anchoring spot next to coral and a deserted beach. Well, we don’t need to choose. We loved it all.

>>> Watch the Quick Story for some sailing moments <<<

Normally you would need to book expensive tours and share the spots with many others. Once you are sailing, you can anchor wherever you want, jump in the water and you’re often alone. Sailing. “One of the most expensive ways to get to beautiful places for free.” as one of the guys on the course explained. It’s true.

Anyway, we’re not just here to enjoy ourselves and have fun. We are here to learn to sail. Mamamia! Learning to sail is one thing, learning all the nautical terms is another thing. It’s like learning a whole new language! The first time the instructor tells you to close the jammer, pull the halyard by winding the winch while watching the luff. You think he is mad! ‘Uhm…you want me to do what? So many ropes… “Which rope?” Instructor: “There are no ropes on board, only sheets and lines” Aha…

In week two it fell all into place. Things started to make sense. We shared the boat with two other first time sailors and stayed around Langkawi island. No long passages. It meant we had a lot more time to go through everything in detail. Not only knowing which sheet to pull, also getting explained the why. Skills and drills. Rope work, points of sailing, handling sails, helming (steering the boat), bit of navigation and off course learning more nautical terms AND program them into your system. It’s not a toilet, it’s the head. Not the kitchen, but the galley. The stairs are the companionway and much to the sorrow of Keith, we keep on calling the ‘chart’, the ‘map’… So often we heard “there are no maps on this boat…” Oops, sorry Keith..

In week three we circulated around Langkawi island and gained more confidence in sailing. The freedom sailing gives is amazing. Like one day we sailed to Thailand, anchored for lunch and a swim. We sailed back to Malaysia, sheltered behind a little island where Wouter made a delicious Spaghetti Bolognese. We “waited” for sunset, had a peaceful night sail, anchored and we woke up in the middle of the mangrove. I mean, what else could we wish for? Sigh.

Night sail in particular is special. You hardly can use your eyes and need to figure out how to use other senses. Travis, also one of the long termers, navigated us to the right spot, with just a compass, a chart (no map ☝️) and a few lights on the horizon. Something we will be doing in some time too. Exciting! This time our focus was to sail the boat. Helm and trim the sails. Feel the wind, the movements of the boat. Basically to be a team with Sade 2. Really cool.

We also had a go with Christmas. But it’s not the same. Listening to Christmas songs while making the boat ready for sail in 30+ degrees is not the same as drinking Glühwein at a festively decorated German Christmas market. Although it didn’t dampen the Christmas spirits of Travis, who treated us with a genuine Christmas dinner on board: pie with mash and beans. 😋 Jep, there are no maps, no ropes and also no turkeys on board.

And now we are back ashore. No sailing for a little while. Xmas break in Bali and in January into the books. Theory time! Learning all the lights, flags, buoys, rules and so on. It’s all part of the game. 🤓

Merry Xmas 🎄 and a Happy New Year 🍾 wherever you are in the world!

We will be back in 2019! I mean, back on the blog, not back home 😜

3 thoughts on “Competent Crew

  1. great Story and I’m sure, great days to spend with sailing… and no German Glühwein OMG… Keep on sharing and I wish you a good start into 2019

    Liked by 1 person

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