On my first day of flying I was taught something profound. “If it flys of floats, rent it” – and so I have spent the last couple of weeks away from flying (well almost) and have instead traded wings for the water. Cowes week is the oldest and one of the largest yachting regattas in the world, tracing its roots back to the 1800s.
Why trade my new found love of the air for wind and water power? Well why not, I have spent so long learning about the winds and weather, I thought I would give this new sport a little go. I thought sailing would be a complimentary sport for those days when flying was not possible, and do you know what? I hate it. Sailing is an awful, cruel sport. Boats that don’t have an engine are just pointless and those that rely solely on the wind are frustrating and down right dangerous. They have bits that swing around waiting to knock you on the back of the head or sweep you into the water, and just when you think you find a dry spot, you’re splashed again and soaked to the skin with the coldest, saltiest, smelliest water you’ll ever encounter, then caught up in a rope and hung.
Every time I heard a plane fly over the events, I couldn’t help but look up at and see the familiar square wing tips of a PA28 and follow it through the sky, longinging until THWACK that bloody jib, or boom or whatever the heck its called smacked me in the back of the head again.
Life on the ocean waves sucks. Life in the air, soaring above it all? Now you’re talking. I managed to get a couple of hours practice in though, in preparation for my test. I have already, according to Steve my mock test instructor, picked up some bad habits, such as looking into the turn before setting the aircraft up at the correct angle (now fixed this issue). Set the angle, make the turn. Fly on what you can see… and Airspeed. I must keep an eye on that too or ill be soaring towards the soup faster than I would like.. and I don’t want to go back to sailing thanks very much.
In summary – Sailing? You can keep it. Flying? Give me my wings already. I can’t wait!