The Mist

The mist lies heavy over the river

only the horn of a ship

slicing through the water can be heard

as it moves stealthily through

like a burglar in the night.

 

the mist lifts and the tide rises

life continues, the boats

go up and down, the mist

has floated away over to the mainland

out of sight, and we forget

it was ever there.

Morning [Creative]

 

Waking up to smell summer in the air,

dry heat rising from the earth

the birds sing

the river is at low tide

sunlight sparkles in the shallows.

People are dead, night-time terror

screams ring through the air

chaos reigns, everything plays out in slow motion

while summer pokes her head

through the door, sees death

and destruction strewing the way

and bows away for another day.

UKSA: Week Nine

Wow, time really is flying, and there’s less than a month to go now! Last week began with our SUP instructor course, which was good fun and I felt like I learned a lot. Tuesday, did a morning of work experience, helping out with a kids SUP session – challenging because of the strong winds, but fun nonetheless. Wednesday saw another careers session, with lots of information about the industry and progression, which was all really helpful.

Then, Thursday we started dinghy! It was good to get back to doing something after a couple of quieter days – it’s funny how quickly you get used to being active all day, and how quickly you can become restless and fed up.

Our first day of dinghy we had very light winds. We went out in double handers, which are fun because they’re that bit bigger. We practiced some capsizes, then had a go at sailing around. Friday we headed down the river again. Winds were a bit stronger and it was pretty stressful – there’s a lot to remember and think about, and it all gets a bit confusing. The boom smashed into my head in the afternoon as well, which wasn’t next fun.

Over the weekend we moved into single handers, and the winds picked up too – a bad combination for me! Struggled over the weekend to get to grips with it, finding it extremely stressful and not much fun at all. I’m yet to understand why anyone enjoys this – give me a windsurf or a paddle board any day!

But onwards – we’ll see how it goes today. This is certainly one of the most challenging parts of the course for me. It’s frustrating because I get it, I know most of the theory as most of it transfers from windsurfing, but I just can’t make it work. I hate dinghy’s and the boom and the scrabbling around. It’s going to be a long few weeks….

On the plus side, some exciting Daphne du Maurier goodies from the Fowey Festival arrived for me, including a brand new documentary and a new biography, signed by the author.

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Definitely what I needed on a such a hard week. And the book is so beautifully written, it’s incredibly inspiring.

UKSA: Week Seven and Eight

Week Seven

[didn’t post so posting late!] The days have all begun to blur into one and I don’t even know what day it is anymore.

The days have all begun to blur into one and I don’t even know what day it is anymore.

Last week began with a day off, and it was nice to recharge, do some writing, and catch up on bits and pieces. Tuesday ended up being a theory day as there was very little wind, and we worked on our presentations. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were all days back on the water, and after some previously frustrating days, things improved again and I had some really good days, which I was really happy about – including finally, being happier in those stronger winds and speeding around in the harness – so some excellent days.

On Friday we had to pack up all the intermediate kit, as Saturday we were back to beginner rigs and back to basics, in preparation for our instructor course, which started on Sunday. Funny to think that that goal point, which seemed so far away last month, is now here!

Week Eight 

Windsurf instructor week! So, pace changed a bit with windsurf instructor week. Back to basics, but we were also learning about how to teach, practiced running sessions and coaching each other. It was a really interesting week, with lots to think about, and I learned a lot, not just about how to teach and explaining the basics of windsurfing, but about my own windsurfing too.

A hard but fantastic week, with presentations, lots of practice sessions and simulator work, and much more. We were lucky to have some beautiful days too. The week ended with a moderation day, and I was delighted to pass. I am now officially a Start Windsurf instructor! We celebrated with ice cream.

Sad to leave windsurfing behind, we moved straight onto SUP (stand up paddleboarding), which I also really enjoy. We had a few days messing about on the river, taking some trips and practicing some paddle skills. Then it was rounded off with a SUP instructor conversion day, which was good fun and interesting to see how our skills learned in our windsurf instructor week transferred over. So a successful and very happy couple of weeks!

BAD LUCK COMES IN THREES

They say that bad luck comes in threes

and there were three of you

when I got home. Three rooks waiting

in the house, your mess an omen

like we were living in a du Maurier story.  

The first of you, I found, splayed out on the floor

wings stretched out, black eyes glassy – staring

you were light to lift, easy to remove

and I thought my job done.

 

The second was still breathing, sitting perched

in the window, staring out at the great beyond.

you didn’t move or flap as I approached

and when you were gone,

I thought that we were done.

 

The last was harder to find. Just a wing

poking out from under a shelf

hidden in the shadows and I don’t know

how you got stuck down behind the case

your body wedged awkwardly

so that we might not have seen you at all.

Even after you’d gone

I sensed you still, lingering, watching, your eyes

fixed on me, following as I went on living.

 

Sea Stories - a Monthly Creative Writing Challenge hosted on Sea, Earth, Sky

Sea Stories: May

Time for May’s Sea Story challenge! How did you all get on with April’s challenge? This month I’m going to mix things up a bit, adding an extra dimension to the writing challenge (who doesn’t like a challenge?).

The theme for the month is Harbour Master.  For an added challenge, make your piece of writing a poem no longer than six lines and try and tell a story in those lines (or do whatever you wish!).

“A harbourmaster is an official responsible for enforcing the regulations of a particular harbour or port, in order to ensure the safety of navigation, the security of the harbour and the correct operation of the port facilities.”

As always, tag your pieces with Sea Stories!

UKSA: Week Six

I’m not quite sure how we’ve got to week SIX already – nearly half way through!

It’s been another busy week. We’re still in the thick of windsurfing, although there’s now less than a week until our instructor course begins. The week has been mixed again with lighter and stronger winds, including some challenging days and conditions, and tricky offshore breezes to deal with. This has led to some frustrating days, with things sometimes feeling like one step forward and two back, and it’s been a mentally challenging week. But we’re slowly making our way Once again we’ve had more theoiry days, including begin to prepare presentations for our instructor course.

Once again we’ve had more theory days, including begin to prepare presentations for our instructor course, as well as a CV/careers day, getting our CVs ready and beginning to think about applying for jobs. 

So it’s all go! A day off today – time to recharge and get ready for the week ahead.

 

Seaweed (Sea Stories)

it moves through the water like a monster

a dark mass under the surface

seen from the shore, an ominous sight

it weaves through the water

clinging to a rock, swaying

as the tide moves it in

and out, away from the shore

until it disappears from sight.

 

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Find out more about Sea Stories here.

UKSA: Week Five

Well, it’s been an up and down week, plagued by light winds and injuries! On Sunday, I hurt my knee, which was still painful Monday morning. Consequently, I decided to sit out Monday and spent the day back at base, resting my knee and feeling a little sorry for myself. Tuesday, was still a bit sore but got back out on the water, which was great.

All seemed to be going well on Wednesday – we learned how to rig up our intermediate sails and then headed down to the water after lunch, only for me to get my hand trapped between two mast pieces (it was incredibly stupid and difficult to describe just how I did it). Had to sit in the van with an ice pack on my hand, and in the end had to sit out the afternoon sailing session, which sucked. Left with a lovely blood blister on my hand – ouch! Luckily, it’s almost gone now and doesn’t really hurt anymore.

Thursday ended up being a theory day, learning about different types of boards and sails, and although we went down to the beach, we didn’t go out. Friday, we finally got out on the water again with the intermediate sails. It was another light wind day, but it was good to get out and practice a few manoeuvres and play around with the sails, which are so much better than the training rigs! So finally back on track, and hopefully things will continue to keep moving in the right direction – no more injuries! And more wind! Saturday was another light wind day, although te morning seemed pretty hopeful, and we continued playing around with the sails and

Saturday was another light wind day, although the morning seemed pretty hopeful, and we continued playing around with the sails and manoeuvres. The wind died completely by mid-afternoon, however, and we weren’t able to do much. Due to the lack of wind, Sunday was a theory day, so a frustrating way to end the week, but good to get through a lot of the theory and go over things. So a bit of an up and down week – we’re nearly half way through our windsurfing, which is madness (excluding the instructor course). On to the next week – despite the ups and downs, it really is noticable how much you improve doing something in a solid block, rather than bits every now and again.

UKSA: Week Four

Week four already – where has the time gone? I can’t believe that I’ve been here a month already, we’ve crammed a lot in and we’re a third of the way through. This week has been another busy one, with the end of our kayaking, including the Two Star assessment and our Foundation Safety Rescue Training, which was all about learning to rescue people from capsized kayaks and canoes. We also had an evening pool session in the kayaks, which was a little nerve-wracking as I’m not particularly confident at going over in a kayak, especially with a spray deck on. I managed to have a few go’s though at going over, so I was pleased with that!

Wednesday, we had our First Aid course, another jam-packed day with everything from learning CPR to how to deal with nosebleeds and cold water shock – and much more. We also had our online safeguarding course to complete this week as well.

After that, I headed home for a couple of days, sadly for a funeral, but it was nice to pop home and catch up with various people before heading back to Cowes on Good Friday. It was peculiar to leave the island and the small bubble and go back to the mainland, which just seemed so different. Nice to get back and see the blossom and the bluebells.

 


Saturday was the start of our windsurfing, and our first day we had some good wind. It was good to get back on the board and out on the water again and it was a great first day. Today (Easter Sunday) is back to it – listening to a Radio 4 Easter service before heading down to the beach for a windsurfing session (and the sun is shining) – what could be a better way to spend the day?