Unexpected MOB On Day Skipper Course

We were on Bolero IV, a 41' Hanse sailboat, practicing picking up moorings under sail off the Kames Hotel at Tighnabruich. There was a light breeze and we had a reef in the mainsail to show things down. The wall to wall sunshine was glorious for our Day Skippers. The sailing in Scotland can often be so lovely.

Having tacked & heading back to the buoy, Chris on the foredeck shouted: "My hat, I've lost my hat!" As it blew off his head and landed in the water next to the boat, we all looked over the side as his sporty baseball cap floated by and away past the transom.

John on the helm looked at me expectantly. I just shrugged my shoulders knowing we were short of time and said: "We'll have to ignore that and get on with the exercise." 

As John steered the yacht towards the mooring, Doug was on the mainsheet spilling and filling. Everyone was concentrating hard on the task but a little voice in my head kept saying "Get the hat, get the hat!" Halfway to the buoy I turned to John & asked if I could take the helm. "I just can't let that hat go!" I explained.

Using the classic 'reach - tack - reach' method, we sailed away, then turned back towards the hat. Stephen found it difficult to keep the hat in sight as it was waterlogged by now and only just on the surface. 

As we tacked, Shirley shouted "watch out for the ropes" and Stephen ducked. Taking your eye of the MOB just for a moment is all it takes to lose sight of it. Stephen was so disappointed, feeling like he'd let the side down. However, I felt that the close reaching course may get us close to the hat. My greatest concern was that the hat might sink before we got there. 

Sure enough, as we got closer, Stephen caught a glimpse of the hat from his high vantage point next to the mast. We luffed up, spilled wind from the sail and stopped right by the hat. 

Having recovered the sodden thing with a boat hook, Chris put the wet hat squarely on his head grinning from ear to ear!