Page 67 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 67

 Exercise FINN DIABLO, Ireland
In July three crews of Riflemen chartered the yacht Gerona from Northern Ireland and conducted an adventure training (AT) expedition across the Irish Sea. In total eleven individuals qualified as Royal Yachting Association Competent Crew and two more conducting continuation training towards coastal awards.
Sailing is a complex and challenging AT which requires both teamwork and personal will-power to succeed. It is an alien environment and there is always a certain amount of anxiety that beginners experience. Most of crew were novices and had to quite literally learn the ropes but they all quickly overcame any early difficulties. By the end of each week the crews were thoroughly enjoying sailing the yacht with very little direction from the skipper.
The passages included crossing the Irish Sea four times, stopping over in Wales, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, Dublin (twice) and the Isle of Man; and at the end of each leg the local night life could also be explored. As well as the passage making, cooking at a 45-degree angle, and the nights ashore, we were treated to some idyllic anchorages and scenery. The wildlife around the Irish Sea was abundant and the best encounter we had was a pod of acrobatic dolphins riding the bow ride when crossing to Wales.
The yacht is part of the larger fleet based in Carrickfergus and provide the Battalion with a
convenient, safe and outstanding opportunity to get on the water. More expeditions, both big and small, are planned for 2019 and the coming years. Major Andy Kuss
Riflemen Cordiner, Corris, and Hyde in charge on the Irish Sea
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