"I would like to learn sailing!" What?
Sailing began for us many years ago and we still love it. My husband and I were with another couple at the beach for Labor Day week-end.
Watching a sailboat I casually said "that really looks like something I would like to try".
The decision to have two boats had me a little worried; my husband and I knew nothing about sailing. It seemed like a better idea when I thought that all four of us would be on one boat.
However, it seemed easy enough since the boats were only about twelve feet long and had only one sail.
We were only a little way out from the beach when the other couple were knocked down, and we sailed right past our "teacher".
We were doing great and besides we did not yet know how to turn or anything, so there was nothing we could do to assist them. We were soon too far away from them to see how they were doing.
After about an hour of thrilling sailing the answer to how hard could this be came. Going back the other way to our starting point was difficult.
After multiple attempts at sailing against the wind, we dragged the boat ashore to see if my husband- ever the engineer- could work it out by drawing diagrams in the sand. He had a vague memory of seeing how wind moved a sailboat diagrammed. We needed to learn sailing!
The Reader's Digest version, we returned to the beach several times to try to figure this out all to no avail. We later learned all about "tacking" and "coming about" which would allow the wind to work for us. To be honest, we had gotten in an hour or so of sailing without knowing anything about sailing.
On one of our drawings in the sand trips ashore we lost the centerboard, the retractable board that serves as the keel on a small sailboat. Luckily a nice fellow yelled to us and we retrieved it. And on the last trip ashore a spar on the little mainsail broke. Now we could not hoist the sail.
By this time the sun is starting to set and I got the brilliant idea that we could just drag the boat back the five miles or so back to the starting point. Desperate people do desperate things. We soon learned how this was not going to work. We had to find a public phone and call the rental guy; there were no cell phones in that long ago day. We soon came to a beach hotel and made the call.
We sat and waited for what seemed forever finally the rental showed up with a jeep and trailer with a boat on it. Our friends sat in the Jeep; the boat was theirs. To add insult to injury, the driver said I have had to go get three stranded boats all season two of them are on the trailer. This was Labor Day week-end.
Our first sailing experience should have been discouraging; to most it probably would have been. Instead of scaring us away from sailing forever we were smitten from that first few minutes of smooth, exhilarating sailing. That winter we took a sailing course went to the boat show, ordered a Catalina 22' and never regretted it.
Sailing like biking is a sport you can learn and enjoy without training for the big race. You can enjoy biking just for the joy of the ride. One can learn sailing and then enjoy the activity just for the love of it with or without entering races. A day on the water with the sun and wind in your face can carry you away from the cares of the work world and the stresses of life.