Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We got to go sailing!

A couple of days ago, Trent and I contacted a local sailing club and asked if we could tag along at an upcoming event, just so we could see whether we might want to join. They said yes - very exciting! - so last night we left my son with his grandmother and headed up to the lake for a "Learn at the Helm" session. This program matches novices with experienced sailors and their boats, thereby giving people a chance to crew on a variety of vessels.

Trent and I ended up on two different boats, which was actually good in terms of experience/learning. His boat was nice because it was similar to the ones we used in our sailing class last year. He said he felt pretty comfortable on it. I ended up on a 37-foot, brand-new Beneteau that looked like it belonged on the ocean, not on a small freshwater lake. It was a little weird because everything was automated and/or super easy to use. Press a few buttons, pull a few lines, and voila, the boat is carving through the water with the sails up. There were five other people with me, plus the owner, and I think everyone else, like me, was terrified of doing something stupid and destroying the thing. It was so pretty, though. I'd love to have a boat that size. It had a master cabin, a smaller cabin, a great little kitchen area with refrigerator and stove, a navigation desk, and a bathroom with shower... Sheesh. I could live on something like that! 

Trent really wants to join the club, and I think we will. That way, we can practice on some of the motorless club boats. There's no other way we're going to get experience on a regular basis. I'd really like to purchase a small, trailerable boat (17-23 feet) of our own. If we had our own little boat, we could go out there whenever we wanted to and practice without the anxiety that comes with someone more experienced coaching you along. Every time we go with someone else, they'll say, "Don't worry, do whatever you want, I'll just sit here and enjoy the view," and then they'll proceed to share advice and tips for the duration of the sail. That might work for some learners, but it doesn't work for me. I learn by trying things out myself and making mistakes.

I think we could buy in at a good price right now, but we won't, because 1) we don't want to pay a slip fee, 2) there aren't any slips available anyway, 3) we can't park a boat in our condo complex, and 4) our car can't tow anything. Basically, in order to get a boat, we'd have to get a new house and new car first!

We'll see. The fee to join isn't too expensive - about $160 for both of us - and I know we could get a lot out of it.

P.S. Congratulations to Lisette and Bill for winning the giveaway! 

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