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Learn from the best

by John Curnow, Editor, 7 Jun 2019 22:00 UTC
Cape Horn - long way to go and they say most of the time it is like this or worse... © Lisa Blair

Even if that means having to take in some of the worst. Yes, she certainly knows a lot about the ecstasy of it all, and certainly the agony that goes with it. She has been a really good pal to us all here at Sail-World over the years, calling in and writing to us when frozen, sleep deprived, hanging around waiting for the breeze to kick in, and during all manner of maritime scenarios. She is of course the inimitable and always smiling, Lisa Blair.

Apologies quickly too for making this a decidedly Southern Hemisphere kind of editorial, but when she called to announce her series of Master Classes to be run around Australia over the next little while, well we could not resist. As a true adventurer she is always needing to raise funds for either the adventure she is currently on, or the one that is about to follow.

The best aspect is that this time you can be a part of a small, 15-person type gathering that can hear straight from Lisa all the best ways to set up, and undertake your own nautical soirées. There is a definitive Q&A style aspect to it all as well, so for just AUD295 for the whole day, it falls pretty much into the no-brainer category.

Blair commented, "I am so excited to be able to share this Offshore Masterclass with the sailing community. It is most definitely not your average course, and I won't be covering things that you might find in a safety and sea survival course, or a yacht masters course. Instead, I will be covering all the extra things that are not normally reviewed and discussed."

You know resilience is a word bandied around a lot, but when I spoke with Lisa during the ill-fated Round Antarctica voyage, I got to find out exactly what it meant to her. If you are planning long coastal voyages, or venturing farther ashore, then given that the sea is a harsh mistress, you're bound to find your own times of stress and anxiety. Having Lisa's words in your own mind at those times is bound to be helpful, insightful, and quite possibly very much stress relieving. You can see the kinds of things she has survived in this 60 second video.

"I'll be offering up my lessons learned, and what I found to work, or not work for me with offshore preparation. We'll be going through subjects like food preparation, through to communications, risk assessment, disaster management, and sleep deprivation."

Nothing can replace miles and experience, but education is critical to the whole equation. Yes a Master's ticket or similar is fantastic, and you may have even been on something like the Pacific Sailing School RYA training course, like the five-day competent skipper catamaran-based education. Lisa recently finished running yet another of these, and Pacific Sailing School's Principal, Terry Wise, had this comment about Lisa, "So glad to have Lisa as one of our RYA Instructors here at the school. Her wealth of knowledge gives our students such a unique perspective."

"Lisa's very much renowned, enthusiastic approach, as well as her recent experiences in sailing around Antarctica and Australia, make her one of our most valued instructors. Many of our students who have completed one of our five-day RYA Day Skipper, or Coastal course with her, as well."

"We are able to offer the option of either a Beneteau 38 monohull, or as a result of our association with Multihull Central, our new catamaran course aboard a Seawind 1160 or 1260. The latter have attracted a completely new market."

"As a result, students now have the ability to experience different vessels and handling experiences, and as a result of Lisa's unique talents, she is able to bring out the best in both students and vessels. Lisa has the added advantage of also holding a Bachelor of Education. As a trained teacher, Lisa is able to simplify complex scenarios, and make them easily understood."

"I was excited to be asked by Lisa for our support and to collaborate with her on the delivery of her Masterclass program around Australia. Lisa is also working with Sistership for a greater opportunity to reach and support more women in sailing."

So attending Lisa's course will be a bit like getting your Doctorate, as it will give you that finite detail, and offer real-world solutions. She'll detail how her boat, Climate Action Now, a Hick 50, handled various things like different types of drogues. "For example, I find that parachute drogues have a tendency to pump, as they can pull clear of the waves, where as a series drogue applies equal pressure, but is harder to retrieve."

"We'll also look at other things like bolt cutters. Do they really work? I know that they didn't for me in the dark of night on a heaving deck, so what else can we use? What about heaving-to? Can it be done in a modern racing yacht through extreme conditions? The answer is yes, but the effects on the boat are different and some areas are still exposed to the waves. So if you come along to my course you will learn how this feels, and what you can do to keep yourself and your crew safe."

Not everyone is going to be able to get the chance to attend one of Lisa's Offshore Masterclasses, but if this has got you inspired to check out the material and dates, then please go right now! There is a detailed list of items to be covered, all the dates in July, with extra times and locales Australia wide being posted regularly. (Note to Lisa, maybe you can film it and do subscriber video a bit later?)

"This is not your average sailing course, and my goal is to have you leave the room at the end feeling much more prepared to face the challenges at sea and overcome the unexpected. It is going to be fun and informative, but also full of open discussions so if you have questions or scenarios that you would like to open to the room, then I will be all ears!"

Speaking of which, one of the subjects is Comms, so if you're planning the see the Big Blue, then this one item alone could be worth it. I always enjoyed just how accessible Lisa was, so clearly she had the subject well covered.

Today you will find that we have information for you about the Energy in Blue with Nanni, the passing of the great Lowell North, Fiji, Portugal, Morocco, Harken show us how to maintain your traveller, Singapore, hailing a scÜber, B&G and Arctic whales, Whitsunday Holidays have a few last minute deals for Hamilton Island, plastic, Marine Auctions event under way, the gem that is Jeanne Socrates, Pantaenius show us how to take responsibility for your vessel, Superyacht awards, Multihull Central have the Seawind 1600 at SCIBS, Gams with the Seven Seas Cruising Association, cooking in the Caribbean, the Aleutian Islands, as well as much more.

So you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other Hemisphere, go to the top of the Sail-WorldCruising home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

In the meantime, do you love being on the ocean? Well remember to love them back too. They need our help. Now more than ever! Until next time...

John Curnow

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