I have read the thread asking what happens to all the wannabes, and I hope not to be one that disappears. So here is the most recent update to my “wannabe”?intro post. Got some good advice here and realized that getting out on a sunfish or a dinghy
was a great way to start the learning
process, even before ASA
101. So we joined a centerboard
sailing club! They have a small but suitable fleet of Optis, Sunfish, a couple Lasers and A Capri
After TS shut us down last Sunday, we took advantage of the beautiful day and free kids
lesson yesterday and had a great day on a tiny portion of Galveston Bay.
My oldest (17) was not supposed to be with us, but was sorely disappointed to have missed the previous weekend, so we invited her dad along and made a big family
day of it. He had “sailed in college” but apparently 30+ years later had not retained anything from a semester on a windless Lakes
The youngest, at 8, is perfect size and age for Opti sailing.
Hubby and I are usually moderately active but both badly out of shape.
Our day started in a light breeze around 5 knots with a bit of post-storm recovery....pulling gear
out of the clubhouse and stowing in the outdoor lockers and helping to set up buoys for the Opti class.
the sunfish was easy! Helped along by YouTube videos on repeat. I also bought some 1/4 nylon line so all 4 of us could get our sailing knots down pat. We had to wait for the Optis to get in the water
before we could, so we stood and listened to the extremely helpful (to a rank amateur) kids
Then we were finally in the water! 17 went first since she was chomping at the bit. Water
is knee-to chest deep, so easy to walk out with her. More YouTube videos helped with basics of sailing but do not cover how to get out of the way of half dozen Optis captained by U10 beginners! Lucky for us, the awesome instructor was happy to shout out instructions while he was out there anyway, so it was repeated tacking in a loop. She was a bit frustrated after 30 minutes and hopped off to give the rest of us a turn. I was afraid she was done for the day and didn’t want it to end on a sour note.
I was more afraid of not being able to pull myself into the boat
than anything else, but I managed it, so after that it was all gravy. Well, not really. I was surprised at the feeling of just barely being in control of the boat
and the level of concentration required. It reminded me of skiing in that regard. I would guess I was out only about 20 minutes before I was done, but again, super instructor saved the day and made me go out one more time and just focus on enjoying it. I did and was glad of it.
Opti class for 8 was great. She was the only one to capsize
, which she did at the end when she was getting tired. She popped right up and laughed it off. She MOBd shortly after and needed a little encouragement to keep going but got back in and was glad she did.
After the 2 hour class, 8 was done, but 17 got back in the sunfish and worked out the kinks and came in after her second go smiling from ear to ear.
After lunch, 8 played with all the kids, the rest of us took turns, but the wind
kicked up to 12-13 knots and the wake was more frequent. It was challenging! Once again thought 17 was going to give up, but she kept plugging away. We kept thinking she would turn in to the little harbor but she kept going back for more. She will make good crew for somebody someday if she doesn’t captain
her own boat.
We all had a fantastic day, but it proved what I already knew... that hubby and I really need to get back on the bikes and work
on strength and flexibility to be able to enjoy it to its fullest.
On to the next step...which is more of the same...tacking, tacking, tacking.