Friday, April 15, 2011

A Summer on the Water

Sailing on the Potomac is not ideal because in places it isn’t very wide. It doesn’t provide many opportunities for tacking.  We sailed in a Flying Scot which is a 19 foot centerboard daysailer.   These boats do not capsize easily.  Each day I learned more and more skills and I was on cloud nine.

We were required to take a written test to be Red Cross certified for sailing and that was a breeze.  We also needed to be able to demonstrate our skills on the boat.  Charlie had us take turns at the helm.  Each time we had the tiller, we did better.  By the end of the two weeks, I wasn’t fully confident of my skills but I was getting there.

The sailing school offered this great deal; they gave a free week of sailboat rental following the end of the course.  Courtney, Lisa and I decided to meet each morning around 10:00 a.m. at the dock.  As long as there was fair weather and some wind we’d sail.  Each of us had a week of free rentals; one would call and make the reservation in her name.  This gave us three weeks.   Of course, sometimes our schedules, life,  or other commitments would prevent us from sailing some days but basically, we sailed all summer.

With the three of us in the boat or even two, for that matter, we could continue to practice all that Charlie had taught us.  At the dock, Chip would give us advice for making it out of the cove and give any warning that was necessary.  We all waved to Charlie giving lessons if he was on the water when we were out.  The practice made all the difference in our confidence and skills.

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