By the time you read this I will already at sea. Thanks to the ability to programme publish dates for blogs in advance, I write this on the eve of the start of my Clipper Level 3 training, knowing that it will be published as the training is underway ……….. always assuming, that is, that Storm Gareth, currently battering northern parts, doesn’t interfere here on the Channel coast.
I’ve been too busy in the last week or so even to be nervous this time around (see Blog 27: ‘Twas the night before Christmas … ooops sorry … ‘twas the night before Clipper, published 12 Oct 2018) – yikes was it really FIVE months ago – and I’m not quite sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Time will tell. Am I ready? Well not as ready as I felt for Level 2 if I’m being honest. Less nerves. Gripped by a steely determination to succeed that I didn’t feel (certainly not as strongly) last time out. Confident in my kit. Very confident that I am mastering taking less and less kit. Keen to illustrate my post-Level 3 training blogs with pictures (and maybe even a video or two using my new phone. Comfortable with my fitness. Less comfortable with my weight – hit my end of March target weight a few weeks ago but have not maintained it. Nearer my post Christmas target which is annoying. Thanks to various WhatsApp groups I know I will not be sailing with anyone I sailed with on Level 1 or Level 2 – so excited to be meeting a new set of Clipper friends this time around. Am I ready? Well it’s amazing how much revision you can get done on the train and at a British Ports Association conference! Top tip ……….. expect strange looks when you open your laptop case on the 0654 train into Euston on a Monday morning and ………… two pieces of rope fall out ……………. closely followed by a small notebook entitled Wet Notes 😳 Expect even stranger looks when you sit there practicing knots!
The aim of Level 3 training is to consolidate our safety knowledge, re-cap on Levels 1 and 2, more watchkeeping and to introduce the asymmetric spinnaker and exercise more down-wind sailing and helming. It should also allow a first sea-going experience in a Clipper 70, the yachts we will all be racing in later this year, so plenty to write about on my return ………….. watch this space 😀