Do you recognize that scenario? When you meet someone for the first time, you subconsciously judge that person’s character.
Flotilla leaders do the same. The nice thing is that if you do this job for a long time,
you will very often be correct but sometimes your judgement turns out a little bit different.
In every flotilla week you meet a yacht crew that is calm and serious and a yacht crew that is quite the opposite.
We made a judgement of this crew and we thought that they were very serious. They were fully equipped with sailing gear, sailing gloves and a clear mind about who would have which tasks on the sailing yacht. It was clear that we no longer had to advise them what to do. They were prepared for everything.
On day 2 of the sailing week we went out for dinner with the whole group, about 30 people. We waited on the jetty for everybody to arrive.
Because the sailing yachts were anchored, we had to use the dinghy to get to the shore. The dinghies all have an outboard engine and oars. After some time all dinghies arrived at the agreed place. However, our "serious" crew is nowhere to be seen.
Suddenly we are called via the handheld VHF radio. They were cursing and screaming with laughter, we were told that their outboard engine had stopped and that it would not start again. There was a little wind and they had been driven out of the bay.
The flotilla leadcrew got into their dinghy at sunset and started looking for the lost crew.
Fortunately, they were found quickly. 4 adult people in a dinghy that was far too small for that number. There was no more room for the oars. However, each crew member had brought 2 bottles of wine ......... the choice was either wine or oars.
Once in tow to the shore we found out that they ran out of gas. Apparently they forgot to hand out this task to someone.
In the end it turned out that these "serious" sailors turned out to be the "party boat". We had a lot of fun with these sailors.
Lesson learned, sometimes things are not always how they look.
We are in a beautiful bay in Sardinia, in front of the beach, moored at our own anchor. This bay is also called Bunga Bunga bay because the old Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi has a home here and gave special parties.
After a pleasant 'Happy Hour' with Gin & Tonic, our English customers decide to go ashore with the dinghy to enjoy a nice dinner. The dinghy is 'parked' on the beach. They start walking along the beach to the restaurant.
After a super evening and a fantastic dinner in an Italian restaurant with great vino and digestivo, everyone returns to their sailing yacht, which are anchored. For the English, that means first a short walk to the dinghy that is on the beach.
When almost everyone is back on board and enjoys a beautiful starry sky in the cockpit, a motor boat from the Guardi Poliza will arrive with a flashing light over the water.
In it are our English flotilla guests who have reported 'theft' of their dinghy. Their dinghy was nowhere to be found on the beach.
They come to us, their flotilla leaders, tell their story and are very disappointed and sad. They searched for more than 1 hour for their dinghy on the beach but found nothing. After some encouraging words everyone goes to bed because it is already late.
The next morning I (Ton in this case) decide to go exploring on the beach because I also have to walk our dog. Soon I see a dinghy behind a row of beach chairs on the beach. It turns out to be the 'stolen dinghy'.
After a chat with the beach chair rental guy, it appears that the dinghy was in the way of the tractor that cleans the beach every night. The driver put the dinghy behind the beach chairs so that he could continue working.
After towing the dinghy and delivering it to our English flotilla guests we all learned another wise lesson:
If the drink is in the man then the wisdom is in the jug!
In other words, after a number of nice drinks, the world looks completely different than you expect and it may be more difficult to think soberly and to see all the possibilities.
Afterwards, the flotilla still had a lot of fun with our English guests. And they also could laugh about it themselves.
If you join a flotilla you can always contact the flotilla leadcrew via the VHF radio.
On Sunday morning when everyone is going out for the first time, we always ask to make a test call so that we know that everything is working.
So it happened on Sunday morning that Madrid called us. But they had a problem ..... The mainsail did not go up. They pulled the halyard with all their power, but it didn't work. Also with the help of the winch, nothing happened but an almost dangerous crack was heard.
At first we did not understand it, but just to be sure we asked if the halyard was attached to the mainsail.
And it turned out that the halyard was still fixed at the end of the boom to prevent the halyard from banging the mast and making awful noice during the weekend .........
Sailing is our passion and we are happy to share it with you!
We are available 7 days a week also in the evenings.