Five of the CCF Naval cadets had a very long, but productive and enjoyable day on the CCF yacht, sailing from Portsmouth into the Solent to Cowes on Sunday 20 September. The crew consisted of Jamie Orme (L6, S), Will Jury-Simpson (L6, BH), Freddie White (5th, BH), Ben Kinsman (5th, S) and George Wells (5th, S).
Jamie Orme used his recently acquired Day Skipper skills to oversee the manoeuvres and the other cadets improved their crewing skills.
My Day Skipper Sailing Course by Jamie Orme
On 8 August I arrived at Hamble Point marina for the five-day competent crew course. It took place over the same period as Cowes week, which made for some busy seas. As the CCF boat had been damaged we were lucky enough to have the use of an Arcona 400 that had been chartered specially to replace it.
Having arrived I spent the first evening getting to know the other cadets and getting acquainted with our boat. The first day was spent sailing out of Hamble Point to Yarmouth, which is on the north side of the Isle of Wight. The weather was reasonable but it was fairly windy with force five to six winds requiring us to put in two reefs. Even with the reefs in we had the shrouds in the water. A number of problems on the boat were found including reefing lines that had been put in the wrong way around.
The next day we spent the day sailing in the busy waters of the Solent practicing man overboard drills under power and sail. There was light rain with poor visibility requiring full oilskins to be worn. After a night in Lymington we returned to Hamble Point marina under power, as there was no wind, allowing more time to be spent on man overboard drills as well as practing our mooring. That night we did our night sail, ending in Portsmouth. I planned the entire passage, having had some instruction in passage planning.
The fourth day saw us returning to Hamble. Winds were force three to four throughout the day, allowing us to sail to Nab Tower. Whilst we were out on the water we were lucky enough to have a Spitfire fly past. The final day was sadly spoilt by torrential thunderstorms, which meant spending the day in Hamble marina, cleaning the boat and going over the remaining parts of the day skipper syllabus.
Overall I found this a fantastic experience. I feel my sailing skills have improved massively and it was particularly fun to sail in more difficult conditions than I have previously experienced under the command of a very experience skipper. I was lucky enough to pass my day skipper practical and once I complete my theory I will be a fully qualified day skipper. I look forward to more sailing opportunities with the CCF.