11/27/2010 10:32:00 pm

Sailing

Posted by Tom French |

I'm speaking on a sailing camp again in about two weeks. It's the same camp I did this time last year.

Today they had a sailing training day and I thought I'd go because I don't know anything about sailing and I feel dumb sitting in boat not being able to help. Today my plan was to feel less dumb. I may have succeeded.

It was a lovely day for sailing. At least the sun was out and hot. But the wind was up which was fun but made beginners sailing not so good.

I started the day in a small boat with a guy who taught me a few things about sailing. Like a rope attached to a sail is a sheet. That seems a little odd, you'd think the sail would be the sheet, but it seems not. He told me lots of stuff about sailing into the wind and luffing jibs and halyards, but I didn't really understand it all. I was given the job of steering and he'd tell me when it was time to tack or jibe and I'd do what I was meant to do and inevitably stuff it up because you have to steer the boat, watch where you're going, swap sides and try not to get hit in the head by the boom. It's too many things to do at once. I find parking my car a complex manoeuvre so doing all these sailing things is too hard for me.

After lunch I was put on a catamaran with a different guy. The wind had picked up a bit more by this stage and my only job was pulling on a rope. We went pretty fast and it was good fun. At one point he let me steer and I capsized the boat. Oops.

We spent a bit of time trying to not drown and right the boat, and after that it was time to come in.

It was a fun day, but I'm pretty sure I won't be leading sailing expeditions any time too soon.

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