My Granddaughter … A Rare Talent on the Water

It’s rare that I’m able to relax with ‘peoples’ on my boat.  I could not have been happier with my Granddaughter Abi (18) on board.

I’m still not very good looking after others.  I’m so used to only thinking about my ship and me.  So Abi will have to forgive me.

Abi has only been on boats once before.  As a little girl I took her and her brothers boating for a few days on the Lake of Ozarks.  Although a very big lake it is not the ocean.  Abi lives in the USA.

Abi and her Dad John, Lake of Ozarks USA 2012

2019. Abi in the Orford SC Club House. The Ozark YC Burgee, given to us in 2012, is above Abi’s head.

During her stay Abi sailed ‘Talisker 1’, tried out my Mirror Dinghy and helmed her Aunt Hannah and me in my ancient Perly Miss speedboat.

My daughter Hannah, Abi and my step daughter Jessie Orford SC Pontoon.

Abi and the Perly Miss

Three generations. Me, my Daughter and Granddaughter.

Abi helming my Mirror ‘Grace’

We spent time with the Doc, Candy and James Robi.  Doc and Abi tuned in to each other immediately. Brainy people together!

‘Talisker 1’ on her mooring in the background

A meet with Candy on her US SV ‘Endeavor’.

Doc, Abi and my Mirror Dinghy.

I had no hesitation in trusting Abi immediately.  I only had to say or demonstrate something once and she got it.  Abi is one of the 1 in 75 or even the 1 in 100 who just listen, watch, remember and take in and picture the information.  So not only brainy but also very coordinated.  Very quickly Abi became a reliable shipmate.  Frankly, something that some … never get and most certainly don’t get for quite a while.

Philip, Orford Harbour Master, delivering the crew to ‘Talisker 1’.

17th July North Weir Pt. Heading out to sea. Doc and ‘Tuesday’ are inbound in to the Ore.

Abi got slightly queasy when we sailed in the sea for the first time. This did not surprise me.

Abi’s first sea passage.

Orford to Titchmarsh Marina 17th July

Feeling much better. Past Stone Point heading up the Walton Channel

Our five days on ‘Talisker 1’ were spent in the Walton Backwater, The Stour and The Orwell where she could get used to life on board a cruising sail boat.

Titchmarsh Marina to Ipswich 18th July

Sailing up The Orwell to Ipswich

Abi and ‘Talisker 1’ Ipswich Haven Marina

The Old Custom House, Ipswich Dock.

19th July Ipswich to Suffolk Yacht Harbour via The Stour.

A testing sail in The Orwell and The Stour

Strong winds on the 20th and a day off in Suffolk Yacht Harbour.

On the 21st July we sailed back to Orford.  Not surprisingly, Abi felt much better this time in the sea.

Leaving the Port of Felixstowe we had to beat out of the harbour against the flood.

21st July returning to Orford from The Orwell.

We’d had a tiny bit of practice going to windward over the previous days with Abi doing the lines or helming but on this occasion, in a stiff breeze I just asked her to helm and said nothing.

‘Ready About’ Abi announced confidently.

‘Ready’ I replied.

‘Helm to lea’ Abi said.

Abi helmed immaculately …

I said the minimum and left her in command of when we should tack. She asked sensible questions and she understood and followed my advice.

Beating out of Harwich. Abi was very good indeed and in charge.

Other boats were beating out of the harbour.  Abi had an immediate understanding of who was the stand on vessel from simple discussions we had had over the previous days.  She could already see the bigger picture surrounding her, was using the correct terminology and remembered to glance behind her which is something some ‘experienced’ sailors don’t do.  And she helmed very well indeed bringing ‘Talisker 1’ through the wind beautifully and at a perfect speed and then getting some speed up off the wind before pinching higher.  Very impressive.

Abi taking ‘Talisker 1’ in to the River Ore under main only

Oxley Port Hand dead ahead

Back in The Ore


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