Cubs, scouts and yet more scouts!

Posted on July 14, 2016 4:53 pm


Cubs, scouts and yet more scouts!

A hectic week.

Staindrop cubs Wednesday, Darlington Scouts Saturday and Butterknowle Seascouts Sunday.

If you have noticed the unseasonably high winds this week you will understand why even penning this report feels like crossing Westminster Bridge at the end of the marathon.

With only four members available in the force 5’s of Wednesday, the prospect of getting Jacqui’s troop of 10 cubs afloat looked impossible. Fortunately two helpers claimed some sailing knowledge, so all kitted up, three cubs, a helper and a competent helm, (and as one of them was me, I use the title loosely), ventured out in the Bahia’s.

Both had a dedicated safety boat, with the balance of youngsters aboard for the ride. Wetsuits work well in water, but out of the water, in wind, they are very effective evaporative chillers, cooling surface pores faster than my favourite wine sleeve. Consequently, the session felt short, although dinner was still served unhealthily late.

Saturday started promising. Older visitors and more sailors seemed to counter the white horses hurling themselves onto the dam. Robert, aided by Charlie, one of Wednesday’s helpers, started well in borderline conditions, but an unruly tiller-haul sent a tack awry, and no mercy was shown by the furious gust, tipping all into the water.

Paul and I looked like heroic lifeboat-men, rushing a second safety boat into service.

In reality, the Scouts were completely unfazed and wanted to carry on. Unfortunately a snapped shroud pin put pay to any further use of the boat and we bottled abusing the second Bahia.

As an alternative, we gassed up three powerboats and gave some driving instruction which seemed to go down well. As did the unleaded.

Sunday’s force 6/7s with Butterknowle Sea Scouts? Possible the best sailing day ever had. And the kids seemed to enjoy it too!

Chris Dauber