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Out of work - The ocean is calling

Out of work - The ocean is calling

How inconvenient, being made redundant at a time when the yacht is ready to go, fully fuelled and stocked, and the bank balance is in the black. But if only it were that simple.

There are two parties in this discussion, AP & DK, and AP is probably 12 months behind me. So what to do for the next year?

Everything is an option, from Uber driver to commercial cleaning if all is required is an income. Or, I could pursue the path of Business Development and be engrossed in a world that has been inescapable for years. A very slippery slope that will inevitably crush the spirit and turn a wannabe adventurer into another cookie cut corporate drone.

It has even been suggested that my 'Dad bod' is quite fashionable and I could get a gig in a Kmart catalogue modelling fashion apparel.

The boat is now safely on her mooring in Pittwater, and there are worse places to be stuck than Nelson Bay where we spent a month including New Year's Eve, so we took the opportunity to explore the area by foot and by car.

Our first venture out of the marina without our mate Mick was great but for a couple of embarrassing moments and we survived unscathed.

Embarrassing moment 1: Unfurling headsail without checking where spinnaker halyard is tied off and wrapping spinnaker halyard around furling headsail.

Lesson 1: Check all lines are back to mast and not tied off at bow.

Embarrassing moment 2: Hoisting mainsail and wondering why it wouldn't go all the way to the top

Lesson 2: Check reefing lines are free before trying so hard.

Pectoral muscles exist and they are sore after ten minute winch workout.

These learning experiences are best learned in protected waters and I'm happy (sort of) to share for the sake of others learning. And as the family motto goes, 'If in doubt, take the piss*', even if that includes taking the piss out of oneself. *To take the piss for the uninitiated means to laugh at or joke about, unless any more educated people can give a better description.

Having had a previous collision in a marina and knowing how little steerage a 12 metre yacht can have in tight places, we decided some exercises were in order prior to returning to the confine of a marina berth. It was likely a funny sight watching a yacht reversing and zig zagging around the bay but it is a drill recommended in order to get the idea of your boat's individual reversing characteristics. We did this outside the marina in a protected bay. We could feel the prop walk to port, the ineffectiveness of the rudder until neutral is engaged, and how delayed the response time is from engaging reverse to seeing the boat lurch in the intended direction.

Lesson 3 (not accompanied by an embarrassing moment, unless you include a reversing zig zagging yacht)

Take a few moments to familiarise yourself with your boat's individual characteristics in open waters, even throw fenders out and use them as guides to navigate.

These lessons document how much knowledge is required to head out on an adventure but it is a balance between knowledge and getting stuck in the pursuit of knowledge at the expense of the pursuit of adventure. So set the date and work towards that, no different to other life interests, set a goal.

On that note, we were lucky enough to bump into Lin Pardey last year at the Sydney Classic boat festival, and when we regaled her with how impressive were the combined achievements of her and Larry, boat builders and world exploring documentary film makers and how we wanted to emulate them, which surely she has heard thousand of times before, her response which she probably uses as a standard retort was simply 'Just do it!' Someone should use that slogan on a T-shirt!

It would be interesting to see how much knowledge Lin had before setting off on her first sail. It seems Larry was born with a wise head on his shoulders so she was in safe hands.

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