Olaf soon gets a feel for the skiff's helm; the great wheel is 3ft broad and requires much turning for a relatively small change in the angle the skiff's three banks of sails. Each of the main vertical mast, and the two masts that lie almost horizontal (one reaching forward to either side of the skiff) carry a bank of kite-sails. Altering the angle at which the wind deflects off these walls of canvas and impels the boat at a counter-angle.
There are also two hand-over-hand cranks; a stride to either side of the helm. These require two hands to turn and would ideally be operated by other crew, but at a pinch Olaf can employ one of the three mechanisms at a time. The crank to the right controls the pitch of the skiff; angling its bow up into a climb or down into a dive. The crank to the left controls the yaw of the skiff; angling the bow left or right without changing the direction of travel.
So now he unsteadily guides the skiff in a huge arc to circle, he presumes, the location he last saw saw Dieter and Torben jumping among the red dunes--a few hundred yards back. Soon the sharp wind is buffeting across his left shoulder and the Alcazar is behind him, and within another minute he finds he is forced to tack the skiff hard to the left and hard to the right alternatively to come back into the fierce wind.
It becomes slow going; Olaf feels he could almost jump off and run quicker, but when he spots Dieter and Torben again in the dunes he realises this isn't so...
It seems plausible that Dieter and Torben could jump up onto the skiff if it made a low, slow pass. Landing it might prove... tricky?
the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern
; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch