January 28 2016 - Helming stream of consciousness

My turn on the helm. What are skipper's instructions? Today, focus on wind angle. Keep it in the 85-90 degree zone. Where are my instrument panels. What are the settings? Should I use a wind angle dial view or a numbers feed? Let's go with a stream of numbers. Watching Alex on the helm first. Note the light touch on the wheel. The wheel comes up to my shoulders! Where is the centre of the wheel? Whoa - he swung the wheel in a big arch there. Glad I'm not the only one who goes that! I see you need to in response to a surge in the wind strength at times. Ok. I think I've got it. Time to take over. Clip on. Thanks Alex. Stand by and spot me for a few minutes. Here's the zone. Got it. (Wind strength changes and waves, requiring ongoing responses). Don't oversteer. Pay attention to the boat. Watch the angle of the mast to the horizon. Can you put a star in the shrouds and hold it there? Feel it. Go up. Hold. (Ignore conversation of others.) That's it. Hold. Down a bit. Hold. Hold. Go fast. Hold. Down more. Hold. Don't look at the numbers so much. Feel the boat. Hold it. That's your zone. Go fast. Up. Up more. Not too much. You've got it. Hold. Hold. Keep it there. Go fast. Go fast. They're adjusting sails. Ignore them and hold course. "That's the zone. Feel it? Go down. Down. Hold. Go fast. Go. Go, baby, go. Hold. Up. Hold. Up, hold. Go fast. Down. Hold. Go fast. That's our girl. Go fast. Don't try and get away from me. Here's your zone. Stay with me. That's it. Down. Hold. Go fast. Hold it there. Good. Go fast. Down. Hold. Up. .." Turns out, if I talk out loud to the boat, I can do this for 2 hours and keep the boat at its best boat speed, at least for the light to moderate wind and wave conditions we've seen so far. My watch leader declined taking his turn at the wheel at final watch hour last night. "I wasn't gonna give up that boat speed!" He calls me the boat whisperer.