Today was our 3rd lesson in our competent crewing course with VIMA. The November weather is here, and the big old Southeasterlies were fairly active in the strait. I had gone down to Ogden point to scope out the waves and wind at about 8am, and it was incredible. The waves were battering the beach and the breakwater and the wind was howling through the deep sea terminal. Half of me was looking forward to it.


We had breakfast and the wind just chilled out over about an hour and a half. By the time we got to the dock, the weather was downright pleasant - the last of the rain blew through as we boarded the Rose. We checked out the weather and tides and decided we'd go stick our nose out and play around at the harbour entrance. So We set to rigging the boat up for a big blow as forecast. We put two reefs in the main, and got a chance to rig a new jib on the furler. We learned how to properly flake and fold up a jib and it's kind of easy once you see it done.


Once the boat was rigged up for the wind, we cast off and motored out into... flat water. We've been blessed with great weather every time we've gone sailing! As we left the inner harbour, the distant squalls over the olympics slid out to the east leaving behind some beautiful beams of sunlight on the mountains. Today was made of two colors, grey and yellow. We passed a small fishing vessel in the harbour which demarcated the point between the flat water and the massive swells left over from the last storm.


So the swell... yeah.. it turns out 3-4 foot seas make me a bit seasick after a couple of hours. We motored over to Brotchie ledge and raised sail. The wind was a little stronger out here, but we got some good practice putting up the sails while the deck was moving around in the swells. Once we were back in the cockpit, we each got a chance to turn the boat through a few points of sail and our skipper sat back and just gave us guidance - I'm totally getting a hang of maneuvering under sail.


Which brings us to the next challenge, recovering an overboard crew member under sail. Katy showed us the technique for it and then had us each do it. It's kind of neat, just zooming into the GPS track, you can actually see we all managed to do a nice speedy recovery of our little bobbing flag under sail! This is the kind of stuff that makes taking a proper course worth its weight in gold. Not only is it clear that you can recover someone under sail with a bit more practice, but it's also a good idea of how to spin the boat around for general maneuvering. Practice concluded once we were all good and seasick. :D


We motored back home through the swells and into the protection of the inner harbor. We pulled into dock nice and smooth and then faced our final exam for certification. Katy took us up to a nice little cafe on the marina and we got to sit down and write our exam with a plate of chicken fingers and coffee. The test was pretty easy with multiple choice questions directly from the bold items in the book. If you have a photographic memory, you'll pass no problem. We all passed without problems and got a our log books. I'm pretty psyched about sailing overall Now comes the long considered decision on whether to pounce on a boat or not.

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