sailing class – part 6 of 6

Sailing has many charms.  The wind, the water, the challenge, the camaraderie.

A friend was sharing a story recently of her husband being stuck somewhere with his motorcycle having a dead battery.  Another biker came along and stopped to offer assistance.  After discovering the nature of the problem, he took off on a quest to find a battery for this person who moments ago he hadn’t known at all.  He went to three different stores to find the right battery, then hung around to make sure the installation went properly and that my friend’s husband was able to get on his way.  She said that nowhere but in the biking community would this happen.  I, however, believe the same is true of good sailors.  I’ve got Bruce’s email address and will be making a trip over to Scappoose sometime soon for a trip out on his boat.

For our last class, we had two folks join us who were making up time for having missed another class somewhere in the week.  Ceri was quite a tentative young lady; she reminded me a lot Jennifer, who was no longer part of our class.  Peter also joined us; he was something of an experienced sailor but was in the early stages of the class.  We got the boat ready and headed out.

The wind was already up out of the northwest and getting the boat out of the slip was something of a challenge but we were soon underway with a toot of our horn (to announce to boats nearby that we were about to exit the marina) and set sail.  We all rotated through the various duties on the boat and practiced whatever maneuvers we might like.  Thinking back, I should have taken advantage of the opportunity to practice man overboard procedure.  It’s fairly demanding and really challenges your skills as a sailor in ways that will benefit you further down the line.

The evening sail was rather uneventful and the boat put away quickly after docking.  I’d passed the written portion of the class, missing only one question (regarding a navigational buoy).  For another $60, I can be officially certified by the ASA and receive my log book.

I’ll finish this up by repeating what I’ve told many friends along the way: had I it to do over again, I would have opted for the single weekend class, eight hours both days.  After adding up the additional fees, gas for six round trips and such I would have come out even.  On top of that, the six week program has really eaten a giant hole right in the middle of my summer.  On the other hand, we got to experience a variety of sailing conditions that couldn’t be replicated in two days.  I’ll definitely keep it in mind for future classes.

I’m further inspired to pursue the goal of going somewhere new in the world and chartering a sailboat.  The allure of showing up and exploring the local area by boat is beckoning a little louder to me now.  I might even have a desire to retire to a sailboat at some point.  For now, I’ll be looking for opportunities to sail in the areas I visit and through my circle of friends, and riding out to Scappoose to sail with George.