Member stories: Jacquetta Edmonds
On our first Pure Latitude voyage, we emerged from the Hamble into the vast silvery expanse of the Solent in a fresh breeze. The next few hours were a baptism of fire for me: keeping out of the way of container ships and ferries, while trying to get to grips with the mass of ropes and jammers in the cockpit, was confusing.
On each subsequent trip, Nick wanted to voyage further and take on new challenges while I was still mastering the basic routines of tacking and gybing. (Nick had years of dinghy racing and some yachting experience while my sailing had been limited to windsurfing). The feeling constantly on the back foot, was in danger of putting me off the whole yachting idea.
Finally, last spring, I decided the best way ahead was for me to learn to skipper a boat myself, so I opened the Pure Latitude website and scanned the list of training days.
Taking part in day skipper, sail training and park it like a pro days was a game changer for me. The instructors were great, and sailing with other developing skippers led me to a wonderful realisation: I wasn’t the only one who found this stuff tricky! It also helped me to appreciate that i did have some strengths: while I might be a bit slow on chart work, my wind awareness was good, I was confident sailing in a strong breeze and could keep my cool while parking.
On reflection, one of the greatest benefits of my training was being given simple challenges which I could complete independently. On a Sail Training day last autumn, I skippered a boat to Lee on Solent, anchored and came home again. It felt like an absolute triumph!
I was signed off to skipper Pure Latitude yachts late last year and, in a few weeks’ time, I’m setting sail with Sharon, my Pure Latitude friend, and another female yachting buddy, for our maiden voyage.
Meanwhile Nick and I now sail in much greater harmony because I know my way around a yacht and feel that I have some agency onboard. Nick is still more experienced than I am, but I now have an opinion that counts when we are making decisions. And that means a lot to me!