I bring to you the long awaited Sailing post! I avoided it for awhile; however, as I am currently laid up with significant lower back pain and can't move- why not write?
I've been out sailing twice now. I am particularly proud I didn't fall off the boat either trip, and am confident that I want sailing to become a regular part of my life. However, this may may be more difficult to implement then I had hoped. The first time I went sailing I was a part of the race. I steered the rudder, and tacked the jib to the left and right. My host was very laid back and willing to teach. On my second trip I was merely a passenger. The husband and wife I sailed with were a well-oiled machine and didn't need my help. They also won pretty much every race we sailed. It was fast and furious- for 5 to 10 mph- and I felt brave enough to crawl/walk all over the boat; something I did not feel capable of the first trip out. However, there was no steering, no tacking, and I realised pretty quickly that sailing lost a lot of its appeal when I wasn't a part of the action. In order to really learn to sail I will need to make some friends who sail for fun, (not just to compete), where allowing me to participate won't run the danger of slowing them down.
Both times I sailed I had the good fortune of a steady wind, cool and refreshing weather, and happy hosts. The sun never beat too hot, and the wind never blew too cold. I mentioned before that I never fell off the boat, which is true; however, I did almost fall down the companionway, but in an amazing display of strength I didn't know I had, I was able to pull myself back up. Probably the least enthusiastic I was during the whole experience was when I endeavored to use the ships toilet. By toilet I bid you to imagine the following: Down the companionway towards the front of the boat and on your right, you find a wooden panel attached with a hook. Upon opening you discover a small toilet with room enough only for your bottom. There is no privacy- only the trust you have for your shipmates not to stare. As you are inside the boat there isn't room to straighten up and you are half crouching as you shuffle your pants down to your ankles and fall gracelessly backwards on to the toilet. Once your business is complete you now have to struggle, half dressed, to rise up from your sitting position while the boat tips you forward and back. You give up and try your best to shimmy your pants up as much as possible before falling forward on your hands and knees. With as much dignity as you can muster you stand, pull your pants up the rest of the way, and use a bottle of water to "flush" the toilet. You close the panel and secure it with the hook- but not before falling forward several times as the ship teeters. Finally, you wander back to the upper deck like nothing ever happened. I withstood a lot of bruising for the relief of my bladder.
On my first outing I managed to not ever need the facilities. I also came out unscathed, bruise-less and feeling pretty darn capable as a human being. On the second outing, along with being battered about, I managed to lock my keys in my car after we returned to shore. This was done in what I can only describe as a magnificent display of "not thinking." Ellen- my Adventure Club partner- let me use her phone to call for a locksmith. It took a very long time for them to understand my coordinates, and an even longer time for them to make it out to the lake. In the meantime, a handsome Scotsman/fellow sailor offered to throw a brick through my window. Despite the chivalry of the offer, I declined. Ellen and I set about engaging the sailors, crew, and their families at the after-party-potluck held in the dock parking lot. I learned that until I really understood sailing and boats, I would be hard pressed to keep up in their conversations. Eventually, the locksmith arrived and with several apparatuses which I could not name, my car was once again accessible.
Despite the random inconveniences of the day, all the way home I wondered when I'd be able to get back. I determined to become more learned on the subject. I now gauge most days on their "sail-worthiness." I am considering buying a boat...well, someday. For now I am content with pouring over Sailing for Dummies, at local book stores. I hope to join the sailors of SISA, (the Southern Idaho Sailing Association), again soon. Future events will be held farther out of town and most participants camp out. I'm sure I'll have more to tell as I get more involved, and will try to get some pictures on here soon.