Sunday, 25 August 2013


I should start this post by explaining that I'm terrified of open water and can not swim so have usually avoided most sports that require open water. For me this challenge was a big deal.

Of course, you don't actually need to be able to swim to do sailing as the life preservers mean that if you end up in the water, the worst that will happen is you get wet.  As a non swimmer - my brain knows this but doesn't necessarily take it all in when faced with the practicalities of water!

Swimming as one of those vital life skills that I was unable to learn as a child.  Although I took swimming lessons for a while after my transplant, I moved around an awful lot and in the end it fell off the radar.  Perhaps this would be a good challenge for my 21st year.

We started the course with  mini briefing on how to rig your VERY TINY  boat which you will be sailing all by yourself - scardy cat. At least this bit was on dry land...

One of the other participants kindly pulled me in my boat out into the water and across to the starting point. We needed to zigzag out of the harbour due to the wind direction.  In the photo I'm chatting to one of the instructors, whose telling me to follow the red power boat.  The word "flotilla" is used and fills me with the dread of other people's expectation. 

I try to remember the instructions on steering, how tight the sail should be, and am relatively OK whilst going in a straight line although get stuck on turning the boat as am sat into the wind.  The instructors were both in powerboats and every time they came near, I felt my tiny craft lurch beneath me. 

Having had a mini sailing taster in a bigger boat at Grafham earlier in the year, I'd anticipated that the lesson would be in a similar boat with an instructor on board, so hadn't been prepared for this. I really wanted to get off the water. 
Fortunately one of the instructors joined me on my boat, managing the sail, whilst I did the steering. After a few crossings of the lake I began to get the hang of things, feel more relaxed about being on the water and even started to enjoy myself!!

Will definitely have another go at sailing, as I know that all I need to do is build my water confidence!!

18 out of 20 Challenges complete and only a week to go to finish...
  1. Climbed My First Mountain - Cadair Idris
  2. Learned How To Punt
  3. Learned How To Hula Hoop
  4. Road Bike Ride
  5. Taken Up Tap Dancing
  6. 5K Trail Run At Wimpole Hall Parkrun
  7. Archery Session
  8. Learning how to climb on an indoor wall
  9. Zumba
  10. Belly Dancing 
  11. High Wire Course
  12. Learning to skip - now up to 103 skips in 2 minutes
  13. Segway ride
  14. Tandem bike ride - bringing up the rear!! 
  15. Insane Terrain - obstacle course
  16. Flight in a Tiger Moth
  17. Hadrian's Wall National Trail Walk
  18. Sailing


  1. Just read this Angie, that was one big challenge, well done!

  2. Thank you Kath - I've only just seen your comment as google mail is helpfully sifting my emails into different folders for me now!