For a landlubber more used to hoofing it across cow paddocks than sailing, when ‘Captain Awesome’ spoke of jibing, I thought he was into dancing.
You know, jiving! That’s the international ballroom dance style which originated in the United States from African-Americans in the early 1930s and popular throughout the 1940s.
I must get my hearing checked because I soon discovered the word had a ‘b’ in the middle, not a ‘v’, and it meant putting the stern of a boat through the eye of the wind.
So last Sunday (June 18, 2017), instead of sashaying across a dance floor, I was shimmying across the waves aboard Captain Awesome’s catamaran with two parallel hulls as shoes.
The skipper’s 11 meter hand-built cat, Pure Spirit, was one of seven vessels to participate in the Yorkeys Knob Boating Club’s Sunday Fun Sail for June.
Being ballast-free and therefore lighter than monohulls, Pure Spirit was the fastest vessel on the day and scored the largest handicap, starting about 40 minutes after the first boat began.
It wasn’t long before we’d overtaken Endeavour but the other boats proved more elusive.
Nearing the finish line, it was all hands on deck (except mine as I was in charge of the camera) to trim a few precious minutes off our sail time.
Alas, first position wasn’t to be this month, as announced at the post-sail presentation on the clubhouse deck as food and stories were shared.
The opportunity to join the club’s monthly Sunday Fun Sail is open to anyone with $10 in their pocket, even landlubbers like me who don’t know the difference between tacking and jibing. That is, if room is available on any of the boats on the day.
You might be called upon to steer, trim or practice manoeuvres under the watchful eyes of seasoned sailors or you might simply enjoy a day out on the water as an on-board spectator.
It’s all part of the fun of learning about sailing while getting up close and personal with one of Australia’s most beautiful regions.
The experience might even inspire you to put aside some dollars and one day join the event or club as a boat owner.
Find out more about sailing
Yorkeys Knob Boating Club is located at Yorkeys Knob, 18km northwest of Cairns and 42km southeast of Port Douglas.