Wow I went sailing last weekend!! My host family took me to a little town called Gruissan, where they have a sailboat (you know, on the Mediterranean, as you do). The town reminded me of Santa Cruz, it was very beach town-esk, except with way less surfers and way more french people. We got down late Friday night, made dinner on the boat, drank some wine and went to bed. Saturday we prepared the boat (put all the sails on, bought some new ropes, they taught me some commands and knots as well), cleaned the hull and took it out for a practice run! The ship is called Effet Mer, which means 'Effect of the Sea,' but also is a phrase that means something that doesn't last. I found that to be nice and philosophical-like. If I had a ship I'd name her Caufield, or something. But I digress; after practicing for a few hours, we came back and hung out for the rest of the day (went around town, made another dinner). Then Sunday was RACE DAY. Yeah, didn't see that coming, did you? I raced a sailboat. This was also the first time I had been on a sailboat. And everything was in French. Not that I knew the terms in English anyways. You'll have to read further down to see how we did..click past the break for more!!
The ship has three bedrooms, a kitchen, lounge, a bathroom and a hot shower. The shower is actually just the bathroom with the door closed, but still.
And it can drive on the road. Just kidding it's just at the dock.
See those? Those are my knots. Yeah.
Me and Quentin getting ready to clean the hull!
And discussing how incredibly cold this is going to be.
Still not wanting to go in.
We got in and out pretty fast, but not before I broke both of my flippers. I don't know how it happened, I'll blame it on the cold.
The harbor is massive, the city kind of runs around it, and it is completely filled with boats.
Practice makes perfect.
It was a gorgeous day out on the water, warm and sunny, and enough wind to blow us around a bit.
I probably turned that crank a hundred times, and I still got the commands mixed up sometimes. It was a bit stressful with everyone running around and yelling things, but it got done.
Sailing back into the harbor.
Dinner, you know, on a boat.
RACE DAY! 24 boats lined up at around 11 in the morning. It was awesome. I should take this time to note that there were not a ton of expectations; the last race the family was disqualified because they took too long and the yatch club took down the buoys.
We started out really well, but after about a half hour the device that rolls the sail (rolleur, in french) so it can be put on the other side of the boat decided not to work properly, and we got 'stuck in irons,' as the phrase is, according to Amber took a sailing class.
Still, we got going and had a hell of a time.
Look at this team. You can't beat this team.
Yeah, you're part of the team too Quentin, don't worry.
"I hope you like going places, because this boat..is."
We got 23rd place, out of 24! The boat in last place abandoned the race a little more than halfway through, but it still counts. No matter, it was one of my favorite weekends here, I had a great time with the family and enjoyed the amazing weather and experience, and thanks to Tristan, Marie and Quentin for showing me the ropes and being patient (and bringing me along!)
Next up: Switzerland for Easter weekend! Stay tuned, Scott and I only have three of the four nights booked, and we leave tomorrow..I'm so excited, this is exactly how travel should (and yet really shouldn't) be.