On Sailing and Other Water Based Activities

So my attempt to find a job has officially well and truly failed. I continued browsing on Gumtree, despite the original response I’d received (see On Perth and More Positive Thoughts) and came across someone advertising leaflet delivery. I have a bike, I can do that, right? I emailed them enthusiastically, and heard nothing back until a couple of weeks ago. A woman named “Vesela” emailed me, offering me the “job”. I was elated! My first job down under. I decided to do both the mid-week and weekend run, which would pay around $60. Not great, but better than nothing. On Friday I got a phone call from an incomprehensible guy, and finally figured that he was delivering the leaflets to Trinity. I asked him to leave them at reception, but when I asked later on, there had been no delivery. I sort of gave up at this point. Vesela seemed awfully different to communicate with, sending me emails like the one below:

Can you make head or tail of that?

Can you make head or tail of that?

However, I got a missed call and then a knock on my door this morning from one of the porters. The leaflets had apparently been left out at the front of college in the rain, and “did I have a car because I wouldn’t be able to deliver the leaflets otherwise”. I’d massively underestimated how many leaflets there were. They’d already chucked out half of them, but there were still around twenty huge bundles of around fifty leaflets each. Oh dear… How the hell do I deliver these?!

A few more than I'd expected...

A few more than I’d expected…

Aside from the atrocious job fiasco, I’ve been out on the Swan River a lot. I sailed with a deaf man on a Hobie Cat last weekend at Nedland’s Yacht Club. This was totally terrifying. I arrived, hot and flustered from my rushed bike ride, and was “greeted” frostily by a tiny Chinese woman at reception. She made me wait for about ten minutes, before angrily asking what I wanted. When I told her, she muttered something under her breath and then turned away! I awkwardly loitered for several minutes before I was led to someone else to fill out various forms. I was then informed that I was to be sailing with Kevin, a deaf man…which was totally daunting as I had no clue how to sail a Hobie Cat, and I couldn’t ask any questions if I was uncertain! Great. Kevin turned out to be totally charming, showed me the ropes (literally), before taking out his hearing aids and launching the boat. I had to take off my glasses too, which meant that I couldn’t see the stopwatch and wouldn’t know when to set it for, and he wasn’t able to hear the horn that goes off to signify X minutes until the start. A deaf man, and a blind girl sailing…Dream team!

FullSizeRender (5)Kevin thought that we were in division B, meaning we’d start five minutes after division A, but sadly he was mistaken. We were tacking and gybing several hundred yards away from the start line before we realised that we too were meant to be racing. Hurriedly, we set a course for the start line and zoomed off (those things go bloody fast!). The wind wasn’t particularly strong at that point, which was a relief as I was still finding my feet. Kevin kept announcing that the wind had changed direction (which I totally didn’t realise), so I was constantly adjusting and re-adjusting the jib sheet, hoping for the best. Suddenly, the wind picked off, and we sped past several boats (very satisfying). He then announced that I should get out on the trapeze. This was more than mildly terrifying. It involves grabbing the jib sheet, manoeuvring yourself out so you’re dangling completely over the water, and then letting go of the trapeze handle. The first time I tried, I got caught on the halyard. The second time, I forgot to grab the jib sheet. The third time, I put my feet on the actual hull of the catamaran as opposed to the bit above it (I have no clue what it’s called), meaning that I slipped and slid in various directions, before clambering back onto the boat in an ungainly manner. The fourth, I did everything perfectly, except the hook of the trapeze came undone, and I very nearly didn’t realise. Had I let go of the trapeze handle, I would have dropped straight into the water, probably taking dear Kevin with me.

But, as they say, it’s fifth time lucky, and I manoeuvred myself out over the water. It was amazing! I felt like I was flying…and just about to slip and fall to my watery death. I stayed out there for about fifty adrenaline-pumping seconds, before Kevin decided I’d had enough and asked me to come back in. Suffice to say, he didn’t ask me to do that again…After all that, though, we came fourth out of about thirty, which wasn’t bad considering we started about a minute after the whole fleet!

Spinnakers and a view of Perth

Spinnakers and a view of Perth

I’ve also crewed for a thirty-five foot yacht (which was even scarier- the guy kept repeatedly shouting at me!) and we came last, and sailed a Mirror single handedly and won both races. Although, apparently they weren’t counting the scores that day- just my luck! I seem to have been very water based recently, as I also spent a day at Adventure World because my friend had free tickets. I somehow managed to fall out of the most gentle ride- one where you bob around in giant rubber rings, and had clambered half back in when my friend pushed me and I ended up scraping my entire leg down the rest of the slide. Fun! Another one to add to my growing list of unattractive scars.
And now I’m back (blogging) in the resource centre, as my laptop has died again. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention- I collected it from the store and paid $400 for its repair. I then began cycling back, when my pedal fell off again and I cut my toe open. I hobbled most of the way back when a charming man offered me a lift, which I gladly accepted. I’d finally got back to college, and was looking forward to a good session of Friends in bed, when my laptop refused to start! So, back to the Apple Store I went, furious. It’s working intermittently now, but its dodgy as hell, and I’m just about to head back there tomorrow as they haven’t properly transferred my photos. It’s practically my second home now…how depressing is that?!


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