Taming the Beast

by Adrian on December 9, 2014

We have a beast on board. Wild, powerful, unpredictable, intimidating and beautiful. And our mission is to tame it – or if not possible then to at least try to understand its character, predict its behaviour, harness its energy and enjoy its beauty.
The Beast needs wind to come alive. No wind and it is fast asleep, buried in its dark burrow. A little wind and it can be enticed out but still hangs limp and lifeless with barely any energy to move itself. Too much wind however and it turns into a screaming banshee, out of control, intimidating the crew as it dances wildly above the foredeck and terrorising the boat as it drags it across the sea like a child’s toy. The secret is to give it enough wind to fill its belly, enough energy to tiptoe lightly on the bow and enough scope to work in harmony with the boat and get us to
St Lucia.
The Beast needs respect. If tied too tightly it snaps and jerks awkwardly like a sulky teenager. If given too much rope it forgets who’s the boss and tries to run free. Its true nature is that of a prima donna. It resents sharing the wind with its sailing companions and prefers to give a solo performance where it can be seen in all its glory.
Careful handling of the Beast is key. When it finally accepts that in return for working with the guys holding it to the boat it gets the wind it needs, the Beast becomes a powerful ally in our journey across the sea.

Sy Vagaris

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