Tuesday, 10 May 2011


It is no secret that we are quietly indoctrinating Nathaniel into the joys of sailing, but it is a very nice surprise to find that he is absolutely obsessed with the sailing club. He has always enjoyed going there, and once almost had a total melt-down when we went on a walk along that stretch of river without the sailing club keys and had to walk past without going in.

He is well aware that Sunday is sailing club day, and can be persuaded into all sorts of terrible things (getting dressed sensibly, eating boring breakfast cereal, not playing driving in the car), if he is told that this will speed up our arrival.

This year he has been enjoying it especially, and enjoys getting out the two petrol lawn mowers and "mowing" the concrete if he can't persuade anyone to actually mow the grass. He'll show you exactly how they both work (someone explained the combustion engine to him), and how to add extra petrol and oil and where in the club to find these things.

He helps people rig their boats (he has a tendency turn up at people's knees, politely requesting "Want to get in boat please"), and will sit and hoist spinnakers and thread sheets through fairleads for quite some time. He's been impressed to find that he needs no assistance to climb into a RS200 or a topper, and will often be found quietly "rigging" them with any bits and pieces that have been left around.

At other times he just potters around looking for rabbits (we once scared one with the lawn mover), playing with empty trolleys, and helping people push their boats around the boat park.

He's made firm friends with the majority of the club, who treat him as a short but fully paid up member and have long discussions with him about boats, mowers, hosepipes and his other interests. He has ODed with Hugh and myself, and been in charge of raising the flags on the starting sequence. He is a great fan of bringing in the buoys at the end of the race, and will sit carefully at the front of the rescue boat on his own, holding on and enjoying the splashes. He enjoys watching people trying to start the safety boat engine (it's a bit temperamental), and will shout instructions and encouragement from the bank.

He is great friends with Steve P, with whom he is growing potatoes in the allotment. At lunch time, the two of them go off with the hosepipe and water everything thoroughly (though interestingly, rarely themselves).

Now that he has got his sea legs, he normally wants to go out in the boats, and often gets a joy ride with Daddy at lunch time, normally in no wind, but once in the RS200!

But on the day of the open day, he was so desperate for a sail (despite the force 3 wind), that he nagged me into asking Steve if he could go out with him: "Mummy, please ask Steve now". So I did, and Steve and Phil were overjoyed to take him out for a joyride. Ian sailed in the vicinity in a topper, but I stayed on the shore, and all I could hear were delighted squeaks and "Daddy, we going faster than you!", "I pull in jib now", "Uncleat!", "Daddy, your boat is tiny", "I in yellow stable boat" "We going very fast now", "Little bit wobbly now".

The little man was in his element!

That is a very happy little boy. He let Phil move around him to balance the now rather tippy boat, and pulled his sheet when asked and uncleated on the call of "Ready about!" He didn't seem phased at all that other boats were capsizing and that the wind was gusting pretty hard.

Sometimes its really hard to remember that he's only 2.

1 comment:

Nimmy said...

So when do we get an oppy?