This sail training charter was a unique opportunity for both myself and Elspeth Rob, the following review is a joint assessment and review which highlights the value of my Sail Training Programme.
To commence I will outline the background on what brought about this sailing programme for Elspeth and Rob.
Back last summer they booked a week along with her sister and a great pal, so having 4 in the boat, this indeed for Elspeth was a ‘taster’ and much more of a holiday.
However, on returning to the U.K. she went in pursuit of a Lugger to purchase, as a young woman her Dad bought an early Lugger back in the 1970’s and as a family they sailed this boat out of Salcombe.
So this urge for a Lugger of her own goes back many years
We have all done this, returned from a holiday and have this new enthusiasm forefront in one’s mind, exactly what Elspeth felt and within the winter she found the Lugger ‘ Nutmeg’ purchased her and had great work done to her ready for the summer of 2023
With Nutmeg now in the water on a swinging mooring at Salcombe she was ready to sail
However, this is were the Sail Training concept begins.
It’s comes down to reality when the boat goes into the water and unfortunately the circumstances, weather and tides catch us out because of our lack of experience and sailing techniques, on a good day it’s good but when the prevailing conditions are not good it then becomes a serious issue
So confronted with these problems this summer with trying to sail with Rob at Salcombe , despite being a very motivated and determined woman , Elspeth could see her purchase of Nutmeg, it’s re firb and her determination to have great adventures with the Rob in the Lugger had been stopped in its track. Not a disaster but not feeling confident and so not enjoying the experience
It’s a learning curve
So now I pass you over to Elspeth for her rationale on why she opted to take part in a sail training program in the South Ionian Sea.
I was so disappointed and frustrated by our experience with trying to sail Nutmeg this summer, I contacted Phil for his advise. The ownership of the Lugger was for a dream come true, it’s what I did with my family as a young girl and now I wanted to share this experience with Rob.
The 10 day sail trading charter was formulated then by Phil at Dragon Drascombe.
All done flights booked and really looking forward to this event.
We were greeted on arrival at Preveza airport by our taxi driver Stathis, a very charming , polite young man who engaged very well in English and drove us to the Gialos Taverna in a very safe manner
This was our first stop before being taken to the Geni Garden apartment and well worth the stop after an early Bristol flight. Yes, despite its magnificent outlook over Vliho Bay we were entertained with a Meza lunch, presented by Kostas and prepared by his Mum Arastaia, such a great Taverna , just 10 minutes approx walking from the apartment or a motor up in the evening in the Lugger
The food is just superb.
Rob and myself were eager to be coached in a one to one situation, starting with the very basics of Seamanship and sailing techniques.
It soon became apparent after the first day or so that we had picked up from others or along the way very I’ll founded practices and techniques all of which had contributed to our frustration and anguish in trying to sail our Lugger during the summer
It’s a vicious circle, if you cannot cope with the Sailing and it becomes stressful between you both then it ceases to become enjoyable.
This is what I want to put right
Getting back to our first day and arrival at the Gialos. From our lunch Phil whisked us by his tender down to the Geni Garden apartment where we settled in, not forgetting the first of many dips in their pool.
Following a quiet hour or so to recover after the early morning start
Phil took us over to the local supermarket to stock up with supplies.
The Geni Garden apartments are just outstanding, the rooms are as clean as a ‘new pin’ and with Sandra’s constant attention to detail all our needs were catered for, including the delivery of bakery products at 9 am for our breakfast on the balcony
First class service Sandra
Getting back to the sailing now, one aspect that struck me on just the third evening whilst we were having supper at the Taverna was Phil had updated us with sketches of boat sailing positions that related to the the different set of the sails for these sail positions. We soon discovered that this was not uncommon, Phil is just full on with his commitment to his clients and sailing
These basic line drawing sketches were very new to us, I didn’t realise from past sailing that the set of the sails varied as to what position of sailing you were on.
It sounds logic now and what a difference it made to our approach when sailing.
In the past we just pulled in the bits of string and hoped we would sail, no more of that now it’s so logical to analyse the relationship between the point of sailing to the wind and the set of the sails
A big bit of progress Mr P.
Our 10 days with Phil of Dragon Drascombe has changed and seriously affected our approach to sailing in a positive way
As a couple we now feel more confident together in the boat, each understanding
what we need to do as a team in sailing the craft , safely and efficiently
We both now mesh in together on practices without any formal commands, this has been a big issue in the past
In summary, we had Phil’s undivided attention throughout the charter period, visiting Meganissi and the Spilia Taverna for lunch, further south towards the bottom of the island to see and sail in the area of Saint Nicholias caves and further east to Desimi Bay.
Great days out, good food and great sailing tuition
This experience was such a refreshing approach to sailing with the emphasis on technique and logic and being reinforced all the time so it became a standard norm , cutting out the obscure terminology and getting stuck in to the basics of how a boat moves through the water
Such a worthwhile and valuable experience for us both and I would instantly recommend it highly to those who are eager to get into Drascombe sailing but feel inadequate and lacking in confidence
Elspeth and Robert Pinckney