Mon Apr 2, 2007
It’s only a bit after 7pm local time, but Elliott is already asleep next to me. The first day of sailing school was great fun, but not exactly a walk in the park. I’ve never sailed a small boat. Not a dinghy or a laser, rather my first experiences were all on 30+ foot boats. Enter the 24′ performance racer. There are some things that are much nicer, like the rigging and work all being done without ever going in front of the mast. Then there is the smaller cockpit and the greater difficulty in bracing oneself as you heel, while still trying to pull in a line. My knees are beyond bruised, and my right quad is trembling when I walk from the exertion of bracing myself at a 45 degree angle for much of the day.
That said, it was a hell of a time. We had good wind, with a couple of wonderful downwind runs during which we hit probably 14-16 knots. Our 36′ sailboat that we regularly race has a hull speed of around 7 knots, and we’ve gotten it up to maybe 12, but only when it was blowing 50′. Big difference being on a little performance racer, huh?
We got back, encrusted in salt but surprisingly uncrispy (thank you SPF 30!) around 5. We ran into Bob Bitchin’, editor-in-chief of Latitudes & Attitudes Magazine on our way back to our little condo, which was cool. I love anyone who espouses the “just do it” mindset, because without it, very little would ever get done. He practices what he preaches, which is that if you want to sail off into the sunset, you need to just pick a date and go for it. If you try to plan and prepare for every little thing, well – there will always be another thing to get in your way. And how true is that.
Once we had washed away our crispy saltwater coating, we had burgers and margaritas at the local yacht club, and now it is nap time. Tomorrow is another full day on the water in 80+ degrees and I’m still struggling with the learning curve.