Nautical Stories: The flying dog episode (do not be confused with flying fish)

Kate, a «British» forty years old met Marc in one of those typical post-graduation trips in Palma de Mallorca. Marc, a new graduate in chemical studies center of  Spain quickly fell «in love» with the beauty  and sympathy of Kate.

In just one year, and after some extensive and heated missives, a trip to London and a lot of money spent on phone calls, they both decided to get married and live in Chelmsford, a pleasant and secluded town of about 100,000 inhabitants in eastern England. Emma came quickly, being now is 8 and Luis 7. Ah! not forgetting «Pearl», a friendly Maltese dog that already has a prominent place in the family.

Last year, Marc decided he could no longer delay its decision: going to get his nautical qualifications! He had always loved the sea, and nostalgically recalls the warm and hot summers in Cabo de Gata with his parents and siblings enjoying classes of windsurfing and dinghy sailing. University, moving to England and the lack of time, had always stood in his determination to navigate. Now he had his RYA degree and more free time, and it was time to fulfill his dream. After some practice in Canvey island with school instructors and classmates, now he was ready to tackle the big step and rent his first sailing as a skipper.

Kate was seduced by the idea of being able to navigate; and, although he had not attended the nautical school, she shared exercises on the nautical chart of Marc, and even helped him memorize every night, back home after work in the family flower shop, signage and RIPA lights (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions’s).

Enjoying a vacation and renting a sailboat was a thought shared by both, though Kate had the opinion that it might be better to do it with a pattern early days. Finally, after an animated desktop Saturday at the Miller house, they enrolled in the adventure to his friends Sally and Alan. The first days were meant to be short and limited to make short trips near the homeport to be gaining confidence.

The charm of the islands: Papagayo nautical stories

nautical stories papagayoAlan and Sally were in love with Lanzarote, a place where they had already traveled countless times, but never done by sea. As they planned to go in November, they decided that was the perfect place for their next nautical holidays; good weather, wind assured, modern and developed nautical infrastructure and a spectacular volcanic landscape and that surely would enjoy aboard the sailboat.

Sally had only some doubts about the age of his son Dave, being only 2, but they all agreed that the age should be no impediment to enjoy a family vacation aboard a sailboat, maintaining the minimum

safety rules and as Alan said, simply consisted of Dave not being let alone doing night watches, or allowing him without permission to climb the mainmast… Everyone laughed out loud.

Well, there they were, newcomers to Lanzarote from Gatwick Airport in his new 40-foot sailboat, a well maintained Dehler with 3 double cabins, two bathrooms, a beautiful kitchen and a bathtub on a splendid stern. Each pair was assigned a double cabin, giving the bow, a little big bigger,to Sally and Alan, as they had to share it with the little Dave. The third, a double cabin aft-starboard, served to accommodate Emma and Louis, who were delighted of being able to occupy themselves that «floating room» where they could observe the other boats and the sea trough the window.

Alan, after being reprimanded,placed his rigid 79cm suitcase as he could in the cabin, leaving almost sealed the entrance and somewhat complicated.

Look I told you… no hard suitcases, they are impossible to stow. – Marc.

He later took Camelot in arms, a lovely white 2 year «westy», to walk him trough the dock. He had been locked up in the sink, because he  kept constantly moaning. Pearl had become the real obsession of Camelot and any attempt by humans to convince him to abandon his male canine instincts became useless.

Sally – «what a holidays will they give us», we must constantly be aware of them and I can not stand  those sharp and endless lamentations anymore!

Kate – It was an accident that it was in heat, but also they are not of the

same race, it would come out something very rare…

And they kept sensing during their way to the supermarket of Marina Rubicon in Lanzarote, to stock up a huge list of food and drinks being made days before so carefully. At night, the group went to the Italian Trattoria, a place where Ricardo, the head of the check-in boat,  had recommended. «Il Commendatore» was only a few meters from the boat and served to enjoy the relaxing trip and taste an excellent pizza before the first night on board.

On the  next day,

nautical stories chelmsford beach

Marc was the first to wake up. He hurried to deploy his «arsenal of knowledge» notebook with pages bookmarked; Windfinder, Windguru and AEMET. The paper letter of the area corresponding to the number 1862 admiralty Englishman which he had purchased online, compass points, quadrantal, ruler, pencil and a notebook to notebook style Weblog that he personally had been set to write down all the navigation data and all the stories that were going to happen on board.

He knew that charter boats require, like any other vessel, to be in possession of at least the letter of the area at its table, but still enjoyed the weeks before discovering bathymetric, capes, lighthouses of Lanzarote, the distances between waypoints, and other geographical features of the area in which they were now about to go sailing. He opened his Iphone and verified that the Imray nautical chart was working correctly. It seemed fascinating to have a replica of the ship plotter in the palm of your hand, and the price of just 10 pounds sounded as well paid, because lately it had became a fantastic respected Plotter.

After breakfast

After a lengthy breakfast on deck shared by all, they set out to cast off. Marc had everything studied and gave corresponding instructions to the crew. While Kate and Sally would address the bow and stern lines respectively, Alan would ensure, with a fender on hand, that the boat came out without major complications of its berthing point. The young crew remained in the aft cockpit throughout the maneuver with their lifejackets.

To all this, Pearl was on the first rung of the ladder cabin enjoying the first sunshine rays that were already filtering between the bimini and the sprayhood, looking surprised to its suitor, Camelot, who was linked to the post of the mast. It had been a strong decision, and somehow disputed by cruelty, adopted by Alan to prevent an approach to Pearl, but on the other hand, also hoping to stop mumbling with his amatory cries, not having her in his visual field.

They had decided to sail to the Papagayo beaches a few miles from Marina Rubicon, as well as being one of the most beautiful places in Lanzarote, would by its proximity be useful to start taking the pulse of the sailboat gradual manner.

They had decided to sail first a few minutes with the engine to start testing the boat and performed a «ciaboga» in the wider area of the blade port, thus in this way, being able to check the ripped of the ship, and the levorotatory effect of the propeller pitch to the left . Better to test the effect of the propeller and the boat handled before returning to port, attempting docking maneuver in the most effective way possible, he thought.

Once saved the mouth stern, glanced the digital anemometer to his left with the rest of instruments, and saw that it indicated a mere of 5 knots of apparent wind Northwest by the larboard quarter.

Enjoying the calm

Marc – Let’s hoist the mainsail! – He said. I will ship to the wind and, you Alan, when I give the order fight the main halyard; while you, Kate, observe how the runner goes up the luff. If you notice any problem, I want you to yell «stop» to abort the maneuver, understand?

Whenever mainsail was hoisted, the boat won a couple of knots as it could rack a few degrees. Marc stopped the engine and everyone could enjoy that magical moment that occurs when the engines stop and you just feel the noise of the hull cutting the sea. I’ve been dreaming of this moment during these last weeks! Kate exclaimed. You know – he replied Alan – you start enjoying the trip just when you start to prepare it…

Are we going to hoist the Genoa? Everyone turned amazed to Enma to the surprise of knowledge of a girl her age. Something had to be worth Marc previous classes, with a Glémans»Guide» he had bought, he had taught him weeks before …

Marc: everyone to quarters. Alan, hunt starboard mainsheet and you Sally, open the stopper of the coiler. Genoa 100%! we have the boat engine working. The wind had picked up, and a good 7 knots pushed the boat to an angle of attack of 45 degrees of apparent wind on the port side. We have to make a tack – Marc exclaimed, while firmly holding the wheel. Everyone to their posts!, ready, steady, ohhhhhhh! With a dry shout Sally froze the soul to the rest of the crew.

But suddenly…

In the middle of the maneuver tack, the mainsheet port first found on its route the rope that was keeping Camelot tied firmly to the mast, and then, with an almost perfect knot, launched skywards the poor can, no hanging upside down with one of its four legs. After the initial moments of anguish and logic bewilderment, they chose to slowly let loose the sheets of the Genoa and Camelot descended slowly from his space travel.

It was necessary to open several «Tropical» beers for the whole crew repusiese. Fortunately, all ended up being a big shock, without any physical consequence for our friendly mascot, but the fact is that Camelot would never complain during the remaining days of the trip.

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