Five things good. five things less good

Five things I was pleased with last trip:

1. We left the mooring neatly with a new crew.

2. We hoisted the mainsail without catching the battens in the lazy jacks. (How easy was that?)

3. I really enjoyed sailing with this crew too. In the past three weeks I have sailed with eleven different crew members – all family, only three of whom had been in the boat before. Being with family is great – skippering them could be something else. In the event, all was well.

4. We returned to the mooring with everyone knowing what to do – and doing it, even though I was the only one who had done it before. The system works!

5. Curiously an accident proved a blessing. A lifejacket was dropped in the water and auto-inflated. Well, now I know they work! And I now know how to reset them.

 Five things I could have done better:

1. I went below without checking whether any boats were closing on us, and was called up in a hurry to find a 20 foot closing fast on the port tack to our starboard tack. He seemed not to notice. I should have been more vigilant for the new crew.
2. The tide was taking us down onto the Shag Stone and we ended up starting the engine to weather it. We could have made it under sail with a little more forethought.
3. I couldn’t make up my mind how best to set the sheets on the genoa – when to run them inside or outside the shrouds. I think we could have sailed more effectively to windward. May be that would have made the difference at the Shag Stone.

4. I had planned to keep a detailed log as a navigational exercise even though it was a day sail – and didn’t. I do need the practice.

5. I also need a checklist for leaving the boat – this was the second trip running I left something on board and had to row back to the mooring to fetch it.