Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sailing & the one of the most stupid things I've done!

Living on a large island surround by the Pacific Ocean I have sailed a little. As a child my family always had a boat, starting with a dingy in which I learnt to row on the  Akaroa Harbour and the Avon River.

Later we had a boat with an in-board motor and in my early teens was often able to use the boat to go down the Styx river, over a lagoon,  then across the Waimakariri River, near the mouth, to a camping ground where we would buy ice creams then return back to our holiday camping site. A journey which I'm sure no parent would allow their child do today!

Given that background it's not surprising that of the four in my family, 3 of us had yachts -- I am the odd one out! However I have sailed on their yachts, and in recent years have sailed on a  Dutch yacht in the Mediterranean for a week and best of all, 6-weeks sailing from Brisbane to Cairns - through the Great Barrier Reef - on Hatty, a French ketch. And during which time I did two dangerous things (of the many stupid and dangerous things I've done in my life)

On board were the owner/captain Michele Hatty from Lyon, me, and my-at-the-time French-Candaian lover. It was during this blue water sailing that I did one of the very stupid, potentialy dangerous, things in my life. But first here is a picture of me on board.

 And here's Hatty, moored off Michelmas Cay, and where we stayed overnight -  once all the tourist boats, out to see the reef, had gone:  we stayed on on the boat, not the cay of course!

It was while Hatty was moored - in a different site - and Michel and Adrien were diving, that I did one stupid thing.

I was snorkeling around the Zephyr-like dingy a long way away from Hatty. Well, I hate to confess, but I couldn't get back into the rubber-like boat, and decided to would swim back to the safety of the ketch. I was past the point of no return when I suddenly, fearfully, thought, "there are sharks in this water!" well yes you are right, I  made it back safely or I wouldnt be writing this.

                        And what was 'the stupidest thing I've done? just look at this photo:                                         
It's Adrien and I being towed by Hatty in those same waters!  How do you fish? You put bait on a  line and drag it through water: I won't do this in shark-infested waters ever again!

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