Sailing school – weekend one

TLDR – We’re boat shopping still, learning more, getting ready. Turns out insurance prefers you have paperwork proving you can sail. No sailor can ever learn enough = I’m taking sailing classes.

Getting there

I’m taking the Irish National Sailing school Day Skipper all in one course. It’s 2 weeks on a boat, and 40 hours of online classes. The first day of Sailing school is off to a rough start. I was feeling rushed out the door and noticed I’d forgotten my gloves when I went to put them on at the LUAS stop. Running back home to get them I thought to myself “I sure do not miss running.” Arrived back at the LUAS stop with gloves and my wallet I’m now panting. Not to worry there is loads of time to calm down as the LUAS is 10 minutes late resulting in missing the quick bus I wanted to be on.

Made it Brides Glen and felt lost. Due to huge construction projects at Cherry Wood and Brides Glen the bus stop is not a bus stop anymore; oh Shit. It’s dark, so windy it takes two hands to hold my phone and I can’t find the bus stop; happy days. Wondering around for a bit I eventually found the bus stop to the port side of the LUAS stop down the hill behind the temporary construction walls; Next bus 30  minutes; DOH! Not Doh, the Internet was off by a few minutes. Five minutes standing in the wind and cold and the 111 slow bus from Bridges Glen to Dun Laoghaire showed up

The bus let me off near the middle of the harbor. GPS had an idea of where to go, if I get lost I’ll check it. After wandered around for 20 – 30 minutes I eventually made my way to finding the INSS sailing school main building. The school is at the beginning of the east wall of the port. I arrived around 08:30 thinking the class started at 09:00. Nope, the class started at 09:30. Making me by far the earliest to arrive. Of course, the school offered tea and biscuits while I waited.


In front of the sailing school harbor behind me – we do donuts on a boat here tomorrow

The Dublin Bay Bouy is reporting 25+ knots of sustained wind with gusts over 40knots all day long. Day one of the class was all at the dock mostly inside of the boat. On the boat with me is teacher Jennie, Ross and Sara, Adan from grey stone, and Carl from New Zealand. We went over chart work, tides, almanac, safety, pilotage, engine maintenance, radio, knots; as much as we could cover without leaving the boat going out into the wind. Walking down the dock to the shower barge for a pee I had to walk with my body at an angle, so much wind. Sara and Ross slept on the boat, the rest of us went home for the night hoping for calmer weather Sunday.

Sunday class day

Sunday we met at the boat at 09:00. The day started learning Man overboard waiting for the wind to calm. We covered the basic drill. How to stop the boat, turn the boat, people’s rolls in the event of a man overboard, what to toss over, we covered stuff. The high light of MOB, we practiced hoisting someone out of the water. We’re told, In the cold Irish seas it’s important to keep the body horizontal to avoid draining all of the blood from the brain killing someone after they are out of the water.

To practice, Carl laid on the dock and we lifted him onto the boat using the mainsail halyard. After man overboard, it was time to leave the dock! – About time we get out on the water. The wind in the harbor is 20+ knots. Not ideal for beginner lessons but we’ll give it a go

Lifting Carl onto the boat
Our rough route in red. We sailed all over the harbor

Dun Laoghaire harbor is big. It takes a good 20 minutes to walk out one of the piers. Being in the harbor on a 36′ sailing yacht; the harbor is bloody enormous. We sailed around the harbor for most of the day and didn’t explore all of it. First lesson, we did a bunch of 360s, then we practiced picking up mooring balls. From the balls, we sailed around the harbor a bit getting the jib out about 50%. We felt brave and sailed right out the mouth of the harbor

BAM! as soon as the harbor wall was not breaking the wind we heeled over a good 45 degrees or more and were sailing full speed ahead with hardly any sail out. 40knots of wind with gusts. We turned right back around and high tailed it into the harbor before we broke the boat. Back in the harbor we did some docking practice, worked on backing and turning into the wind, more docking then we fully tied up and stopped for lunch.

After lunch we tried to park in some marina slips void of boats then we parked the boat in our slip packed with boats. If you can move a boat around in 30knots of wind you can do it in less. What a great day practicing in some of the worst weather you’d normally not go out in.   Fast forward a week we were set to go out again Friday, sail to Greystones, Howth, Malahide and back to Dun Laoghaire on Sunday. The winds are predicted to be worse; Thanks Storm Ciara – class is canceled. I’m booked again end of March now.

Wind charts for the second weekend of the class

A few more pictures

The school’s other boat
The boat we went out on
I’m on a boat on the water!
Still in the harbor about halfway to the mouth
Sunset on the marina



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