This last weekend Eric and I took off to celebrate our 13th year of marriage. Eric has always loved sailing. I love the idea. But have been terrified of the thought of actually sailing on the ocean. Eric’s dreams are to someday, buy a yacht, and sail around the world with me. I have nightmare’s about this. Then he had this great idea. We would take sailing classes together. I would learn how to sail from a real Captain, and become certified though the American Sailing Association. I love Eric with all my heart. I embrace his dreams, goals, and just plain crazy ideas. I love being by his side and sharing in all his grand adventures.
And that is why we took this class. To build my confidence in being part of Eric’s sailing crew. We started class Friday morning. We spent most of the day on a 28 foot sail boat on the Columbia River. We went over all the parts of the boat, boating safety, and crewman ship. The only real problem was there was no wind. And that creates a big problem when you are dependent on it for energy. We waited and waited, but it was still. There was a huge storm moving in, and the high front was not moving very fast. The sun was shining and it was warm. We finally headed back into the marina with the help of the diesel engine.
Saturday was much the same. A little cooler, but still sunny and warm. We could see the clouds starting to accumulate out on the horizon as the low front/pressure moved toward us. This is something that is very important in sailing. You must always be aware of the wind. The weather. The ripples on the water. Looking and studying and making decisions based on all the information you have gathered. This is sort of a problem for me. I am a little, well, you could say easy distracted. I try really hard to stay focused. But then I see something, like a jet taking off, or another sailboat, or I remember that I am thirsty. And I forget about the wind and the sails until I am jerked back to reality by luffting sails or leeward winds.
Sunday morning we awoke to wind and rain pelting the windows. Eric was thrilled. Real wind. I wanted to crawl under the covers and wait the storm out. But I was very brave and got dressed. We had been staying in a beautiful Bed and Breakfast in Vancouver, so after a delicious breakfast, we headed to the Marina. Our Captain was waiting for us and there seemed to be some sort of energy/excitement in the air on the docks from all the boat people. (These are all the people who live on their boat in the Marina, or spend most of their time sailing.) People were preparing to join the Susan B Kolmen Regatta. This is where sailboats/yachts join together to race. We got our boat ready and headed up the channel, out to the river. It was cold, wet, and very windy. We sailed for 5 hours. Up and down the river. We sailed some with the Regatta. Eric and I took turns as helmsman and crew. We let the sails up and down. Jibing and tacking. Finally, our Captain said we had passed the class and we could head in.
I have decided I like sailing. When the sun is shining and the winds are light. The thrill of trying to keep your boat from capsizing during a storm is not an adrenaline rush for me. But Eric still is dreaming about that yacht. So onto Costal Cruising 105 next…
THe boat we sailed.
Wet, cold and sailing.
THe Susan B. Kolmen Regatta
The Bed and Breakfast we stayed at.
Dinner at an Italian Restaurant