As the weather turned into winter very violently this year, the sailing clubs packed up their boats and shut down for the season. This was my third sailing season and my favorite one. They say a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor and that was so true this season. Perth is the windiest capital city in Australia and the third windiest in the world. This makes it perfect for sailing, but it’s unpredictable and comes in strong bursts. When your still trying to learn how to steer, work the sails, hold the rope, watch your head doesn’t get smacked by the boom (Trust me when I say it is shock painful), the shock of a strong burst of wind that either takes your boat screaming across the water, or completely tips you over is… well a shock. This season I started to take sailing more seriously. I read books and listened to all and any advice the club owner (who is a very experienced yachtsman) gave me. I went out as much as I could and stopped becoming terrified when my boat took off across the Swan River in a burst of excited wind.
This photograph is day one of the 2014/2015 sailing season. The weather had been quite good…. until the first day of sailing season. Andrew, the club owner, had text me to say the weather was to bad and maybe they will try open tomorrow instead? I said NO! I danced around like a very excited child who had eaten way too many gummy bears. It wasn’t the ocean, just the river so what’s the worse that could happen? My friends and I sat on the South Perth foreshore pretending to be commentators for the local seagulls as huge rain fell from Kings Park, over the water and the city right in front of us (but not touching us), and out to the east. It was amazing to see and in no way was it making me second guess taking out a boat. 1220pm the rain had stopped, although the wind was strong and the water choppy, I was allowed to take out a boat. It was a great experience and a brilliant start to the season. The catamaran lifted up on it’s hull and braved the swell.
The season was full of strong winds, with a few gorgeous days that consisted of a beautiful warm breeze and beautiful skies. This season is also the first that I learned to sail solo which was such an amazing experience. It felt free and always left me wanting more and more. It’s nice to have someone else or a team sailing with you, but on something as small as a catamaran, it was a learning experience going out on my own.
With the smaller sailing clubs closed for the season, I have come across some ‘off-season’ opportunities that had lead to exciting plans on the horizon, taking my love of sailing even further. Even though I capsized on my very first sailing trip,because I was forcing the sails to go against physics and it threw a tantrum, I know that sailing is in my blood and I finally found something that makes my blood go wild.