Originally Posted by Janet and Bill
Boy, am I glad we towed to LAmpton
Big waves are only 'big' as in the 'big fish that got away'......
It was huge fun, actually, and although there were some jarring crashes as we left Brighton as I practiced the theory of rough weather handling for real on Paul and Harry, the hero was of course the boat. Once Paul took over, and explained a bit more by word and practice what he was seeking to achieve... ahead of the really bad stuff... the crashes reduced in frequency and intensity.
We hardly got wet at all.
I took over again as we approached the Owers knowing if I did not try it then and chickened out I would never ever
do it 'for real'. Having Paul as an expert beside me, and a supportive Harry, and with Blue Ice in attendance,
this was as good a 'safe' shot at this size of sea as I was ever likely to get in a 'training' situation.
Actually, it was nothing like as difficult as I expected, although taking attention off the sea even for a moment to watch Blue Ice or Intrepid resulted in either a harsh crash down or some big spray! Powering hard up the waves, and then whipping down almost to neutral as we came off the top off resulted generally in a good landing, and then power on again to full throttle, seeking all the time the gaps in the hills and avoiding the worst of the potholes!
I was amazed that the engine could go from almost neutral to full throttle to back again, again and again and again, wave after wave, with no problems at all. Superbly responsive. And the hull was just fantastic... a nearly dry ride and, once we had worked out how to play the sea, very few hard impacts at all.
Was I scared? ..... the big wave experience I mentioned earlier did cause an adrenalin rush..... I had remembered reading in (wait for it) Rib International that a breaking wave can really cause problems for a rib, so that gem and the power of the engine to swing hard across the wave was indeed 'useful'.
Would it really have been a problem if I had not taken evasive action? Don't know, but I made plenty of other mistakes during the afternoon, and there was never once when I felt the rib was even close to failing to handle the sea, despite my lack of experience. We never had much water in the boat, and I never felt we were even close to a loss of control.
My message from the weekend is - don't try this unless you have supportive friends close by, in your boat and alongside. But I would encourage people to 'have a go' - with support (and RIBnet events are onoe of the ways to gain this support) - you can always turn back as a group with no loss of face and adopt Plan B if it all becomes too unpleasant!
I was truely amazed by what our 6.5M Solent could do.
And the Simmons in their 6M diesel (also a Solent) are the real heros of the trip!