The weather was pretty overcast when we woke up but we chose to stay in a positive frame of mind. THE SUN would come out for us! We enjoyed a bit of a sleep in before packing a picnic lunch and heading over to Takapuna Beach. We were going to spend the afternoon lounging around the beach before going SAILING. When I moved in with my Kiwi family I excitedly told Ana my family owned a sailboat. Ana expressed to me that she had never been on a sailboat and that was one of the things on her bucket list. I have been a few times before and loved it so I told her of course we would try to make a dream of hers come true. My family was MORE THAN willing to take me out whenever it fit into my schedule and to accommodate my friends coming aboard too. Both parents are on sailing leagues and those nights I babysit the boys. In the summer the family quite often goes away for a week during school holidays. On weekends they take the boat out frequently to go fishing and to enjoy overnight excursions.
My Kiwi-dad had pre-warned us that all three of us probably wouldn’t be able to get on the same boat. On Thursday night rum nights people can sign up to go out on boats that aren’t theirs. People tend to use their regular crew but there can also be spectators who just want to go out on the boats. Luckily Ana and Kaik were able to ride the Princesses together. The boat was docked right beside “our boat” the Panacea so we were able to see each other and somewhat communicate before the race. We arrived at the marina early so we would have time to change and snack. At this time the weather was so stormy that the waves were HUGE and there were a large amount of whitecaps. I was excited but felt silly wearing my jeans knowing full well they would get wet and heavy.
The race was amazing. It was hard to tell who was winning because boats took different routes and the boats had different handicaps. As a competitive person – I always got nervous when a sailboat passed us but I knew our boat was in good hands. We had 4 crew on our boat and then myself and another person spectating. Kiwi-dad’s goal is always to WIN so I was happy I was on his boat. The 6 of us started in the back of the boat and once we were out of the harbor and in open water the non crew sat near the front of the boat. I told Kiwi-dad I didn’t want ANY RESPONSIBILITY given to me during race time. I wasn’t checking wind or doing any of the sails. He laughed and said that was completely fine he would try to make it as smooth a ride as possible. It was a windy day and the waves were sooo choppy by the time the race started. I got so soaked and had the time of my life. Sailing was WAY MORE physical than I ever thought it would be. The one thing I learned is when you hear, “TUCK” yelled out it means watch your head, usually duck from the boom, and once it’s swung over you quickly AS FAST AS YOU CAN get to the other side of the sailboat. You can slide under the boom or walk around the back but do NOT stay on the same time or your feet and maybe whole body could be in the water. Kiwi-dad assured me most races aren’t that physical it was just because it was so choppy out there. The rules of the weekly competition are that the top 3 boats get free rum. The thing is — everyone usually brings rum and drinks beer after the races and it’s a very social time for all the sailors so no one is really “left out” of celebrating. You have a celebratory drink on your boat. Then you visit your neighbour’s boats. Then there is usually a rum boat (the loudest most overcrowded one) and everyone just chats and the night gets louder and longer and longer. There have been instances where people have decided to sleep on their boat after the races…Needless to say the girls and I had a fantastic time and laughed our butts off the whole time. I took some pictures on my iphone but had to tuck it away in my bra for most of the race. I was a little paranoid that it would fall out or get splashed and have water damage forever! I can’t wait to go again. I usually decline the overnight rides with the family but I look forward to racing with the parents again.
After the race we went to pick up Emzie and bring her back to my place for the evening. The only minor issue was how to exit the marina?!!? The GPS does lie sometimes…don’t worry we figured it out 🙂
xoxo Amanda, Ana & Kaik