Another sailing trip!

Trip Start Sep 28, 2003
Trip End Sep 29, 2004

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Flag of Australia  ,
Thursday, November 20, 2003

After seeing some Yachts in Coffs Harbour probably 6 weeks ago now. James and I had discussed the idea of learning to sail. We had decided that while we were in Australia, it would be a great place to learn how to sail and started to find out information about the different courses that can be taken.

We had discovered that some of these courses are run in the Whitsundays and so the location seemed ideal to actually learn how to sail, as well as to enjoy the scenery. The most appropriate course for us to go on, was one where we would attain a "Competent Crew" Certificate. This means that we could assist a suitably qualified skipper to sail a yacht.

We decided that we would go with the company that we had used for the last trip (on Broomstick). This was a company called ProSail, so within a week of touching ground from the first trip, we were back out at sea again, on a two night voyage.

We had a surprise in that we were met off the coach by our hostie from the previous trip- Aletta - which was a nice surprise. I think I relaxed more into this second trip, it was a bit more intimate with only half the number of people, on a smaller boat. Obviously we all had to work much closer together as we were helping to sail the boat!

I had some great experiences on this boat... we all had a go at Helming (Steering), operating some of the equipment like the winches, raising and lowering sails, helping to navigate. One of my personal highlights was taking the tender (small inflatable boat with an outboard motor) for a spin! We also did some more snorkelling and saw a load of fish even bigger than the ones we saw last time.

Our Captain - Brian - had a good sense of humour, insisting that no-one (read Australian) in his right mind would buy a boat unless it had a barbecue fitted. He also sent two of the other guys on our boat, off on a wild goose chase in the tender, to get some electrical tape from "...that boat over there..." it turns out that he knew the captain, and he did not need the tape!

We again got to play cricket on Whitehaven beach (this time, improvising a bat and stumps) after mooring nearby for the night. Brian was determined to be the first person on the beach. We were amused to see him charge through the middle of us, all eating breakfast (at about seven in the morning), when he spotted someone else jumping into their tender to pop to the beach. Unfortunately, Brian only got about halfway to the beach before the other guy landed. He nearly did it though!

On our way back, we even got to land at one of the resorts Hamilton Island, just for enough time to drop off one of the people on the trip (who wanted to meet friends on the island) and to grab an ice cream!

On our (sad) return to land, none of us wanted to leave the boat, but we were all eventually pushed onto shore and spent that evening at a boat night out, visiting various drinking establishments in Airlie Beach.

We met up with the other guys that we had left ashore for this trip (there was getting to be a large group of people we knew at our hostel now, and spent a day with some of the guys fishing, and having another Barbecue at the lagoon. Later that evening I met up with a Mike (who I went to school with) and a couple of his friends. They were over in Australia for the rugby, and were obviously quite pleased with England heading for the finals. James had recently just had a call asking him to work on the rugby finals. Obviously he had to snap up this opportunity, so he headed down to Sydney to work on this.

I need to end this chapter somewhere as there is sooo much to go into the next one! So that is all for now, the next chapter should be with you shortly.
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