Thanks for the comments. I am reading 'the craft of sail' by Jan Adkins which looks like an excellent book for a neophyte such as I.
I am fortunate in that I have a lake locally in which I can learn that during the summer has winds varying from absolutely nothing (yesterday!) to 5-9knot winds. Sometimes its interesting to see how little wind
I can keep the boat moving in. I windsurfed for many years so that experience helps but it is different sitting down and balancing a rather tender
boat. I am learning
both how and where to move on my boat and in spite of wishing I was about 20 years younger I am progressing. On a windsurfing board it is simpler in a way because you are always standing and moving your feet and hips is a pretty intuitive process...or at least becomes one after some practice.
One challenge that the lake presents is gusts and wind direction changes. I am learning
about 'weather helm' where a gust of wind will turn the boat strongly to wind. I alway thought that was the strangest feeling on a sailboat where a gust comes up and you have to swing the tiller hard to keep going on course. I think that I read somewhere that weather helm
is particularly pronounced on catboats. Is there any way to minimize 'weather helm'? When a quick gust comes up it is one time that I feel that the boat has been taken out of my control.
Thanks very much,