After The First Sail Workshop: His Thoughts

We could not have asked for a more beautiful day of weather on Saturday.  Sunny, warm, and 10-15 mile per hour winds.  It was a fantastic day for a sailboat ride.

I have to say that the “class” was not what I had in my head.  I guess I thought that is was going to be more like the boater’s safety class that I took.  It really was not.  I am not sure I can even call it a class.  It was more of a quick introduction.  Thinking about it now, it makes sense.  The class room portion was only 45 minutes long, how could it have been any more than a quick introduction?  It was still informative.  I never realized that the phrase “three sheets to the wind” actually stemmed from sailing.  I always just thought it was an expression to describe someone who had way too much to drink and was out of control.  It turns out the “sheets” the phrase is referring to are actually the ropes on a sail boat that control the sails.  So, three sheets to the wind describes the sails on a boat just flapping in the wind and being out of control.  Hmm, how about that?

The on the water piece of the class was a lot of fun, but I always have fun when I am on the water.  I think the best part was watching Alexis get the hang of her job on the boat.  I really enjoy seeing the excitement in her face when the light bulb goes on and she gets it.  Her smile is contagious.

I don’t think we spent quite enough time on the boat to get a complete picture, but these are my thoughts any way.

#1 – Sailing is a lot of work.

Not near as much as I thought!  In my head, we were going to be constantly messing with the sails.  Actually, other than when we completely changed directions, it was more like set it and forget it.  The idea is to keep the boat moving forward, and that happens even if the sails are not perfectly trimmed.  So, my new thought is that you can do as much or as little work as you want.  Even when we completely changed directions, it was less than a minute of changing the sails.  I am not sure that I am ready to not call sailing a lot of work until we get a chance to sail on a larger boat, but so far, it was not!

#2 – Sailboats are slow.

I guess the true answer here is that, compared to a lot of power boats, sailboats are slow.  However, slow is not a bad thing.  It’s harder to get into trouble when things are moving slower.  On top of that, the feeling of moving through the water without the noise of an engine running is something that I truly enjoyed.  I will gladly trade the serenity of the sound of nothing but wind and water to the speed of a power boat.

#3 – Sailboats are uncomfortable.

I am not sure this one is even close to true.  The boat was heeled over at times, but at no time was I uncomfortable.  In fact, the pressure on the sails that heeled us over also kept us from rolling with waves that came from the side.  We just had a slow smooth up and down motion.  Even for a relatively small boat, it was very comfortable.

The bottom line is, I really liked the feeling of sailing and am very much looking forward to gaining more experience on a sailboat!

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