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Old 25-08-2007, 21:55   #1
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pirate 1st Sail Ever

I was a young man of 11 when my Dad bought a Sea Snark sailboat. From what I remember, it was 11 foot long, made of styrofoam and had hung 45 square foot of sail. We dragged it to the bay just above the high water level. I woke early the next morning and decided on my own to "Go for a Sail". I had never sailed before. My Dad was an AF Colonel and we had just moved into a home on the back bay of Biloxi. Based upon my extensive gifts of obsevation I determined that I could sail this creature of the sea without any instruction. I set off in a blustery afternoon on a solo sail with the wind from the west. All was well, I was running with the wind, I lifted the dagger board and accelerated even more. As I came closer to the bridge that separated Biloxi from Ocean Springs I thought I should start to head back. I turned to the north but the boat continued on it's route to the open ocean. I thought of panicing but there was no one to provide assitance. I was on my own. Most of you would look at this with just a bit of laughter but when you're 11 and have never sailed, on your own, facing the open ocean you are scared. I wasn't sure what to do to make the boat track to the north. I finally reached the point where I would try anything and dropped the dagger board into place. The Snark responded like a race horse! It took me a significant amount of time to tack all the way back to home but I made it. I learned a lot that day. A lot about sailing but more about facing the unknown. Call me stupid, but after that, I called myself a Sailor.
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Old 25-08-2007, 22:54   #2
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Glad you made it back. Best lesson you could ever get.
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Old 26-08-2007, 08:13   #3
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Great story! Thanks for sharing it. So often, it is not the fact that we make a mistake that's important, but how we cope with it.

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Old 26-08-2007, 08:13   #4
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Great story! Thanks for sharing it. So often, it is not the fact that we make a mistake that's important, but how we cope with it.

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Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.--Ben Franklin

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
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Old 26-08-2007, 12:59   #5
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Long ago I found myself boatless and new to Galveston Bay area. I had sailed in North Texas crewing in the catamaran fleets that raced on the lakes, but much of my time was spend on a variety of power boats. Well one day a friend called me and asked if I wanted the boat he learned on or should he cut it up for scrap. Over the next couple of years I sailed that boat at least three days a week in Black Duck Bay while watching the Fred Hartman bridge take shape. Often I was in the shadow of the ocean going ships heading up the ship channel to the refineries. the crews would often come on deck and look down and wave at the little sailboat. I managed to get a larger boat and gave my little boat away to a friend's child who was learning to sail on a lake in the Woodlands. As that child grew into a young lady and headed off to college I managed to get the boat back. Recently I gave the boat to some friends who have a house along the bay for their kids who are 10 and 8. The ten year old boy is already learning to sail it. I remember my sailinig friends kidding me about the styrafoam cup when their boats sat at the dock unused. There is a lot to be said for small light boats. They are easy to carry, rig and sail and this one has spent a lot of time on the water. It too, was a Sea Snark.
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