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.