My First Sailing Experience
I have been on boats a couple of times before, but I never been in charge. As a matter of fact, I have never thought about sailing before until I met my ex-wife Dena. She was the one who introduced me to sailing. It was one of her greatest hobbies. She was born and raised in Canada and used to cruise the Great lakes together with her dad when she was barely a teenager. This explains why she was an avid sailor.
After meeting her, she challenged me to sail. I always felt nervous about it and the feeling of capsizing always turned me off. Therefore, I never undertook the course for the initial six months that I was dating her. However, one day we went boating together and she provoked my manhood by challenging me to take up the steer. I wanted to decline the offer, but I decided to give it a trial and see how things would turn out to be.
At first, I didn’t know what to do because it was a bit windy and I even couldn’t ascertain correctly the direction in which the wind was coming from. I was a bit shaky even though my girlfriend encouraged me to move on and showed me how to maneuver through the wind by tacking. It was still a problem for me to determine the amount of efforts required to use the tiller in order to correctly tack through the wind blowing across our sail.
At times I even moved the tiller in the wrong direction though I was quickly corrected. The first experience was a bit awesome and I learnt a few basics as well as some sailing terminologies that I never knew before. This opened the doors for me to learn sailing.
Learning how to Sail
After that first experience, Dena helped me find the best school which felt would provide the best learning experience that I needed. I then enrolled for sailing classes.My trainer was a very amicable person and so supportive. He first taught me the basics of reading the weather and tying sail knots. This wasn’t much of a lesson to me because I was able to tie a bowline within the first few minutes and later on I knew how to predict the direction of the wind. Then we came to the worst part.
I didn’t know more about boating and when he proposed that I should start my first lesson on a dinghy, I never gave a thought about how hard it is to sail on one. It helps you prepare for the worst but at the same time teaches you not to panic in case anything goes wrong. This is because a slight mistake on a dinghy makes one to easily capsize. And, that morning, we capsized several times as Edwin trained me how to sail. He wasn’t worried about our capsizing and any time it happened, he would help me back in the boat and explain to me the mistake that I did and how to handle such a problem as well as to avoid it. The experience was full of fun and loved the way we were progressing well.
Various Skills and Techniques that every Sailor Needs to Know
By noon, we sailed well ashore and docked. By this time I was feeling excited and even though I had booked for the morning session only, I decided to continue with the afternoon session. Fortunately, the sailing company decided to fix me in the afternoon session though I was assigned a different trainer.
This one was one brute of a guy. He hardly smiled and was very stern in training me. At times I felt as if he was lashing at me for a mistake that I committed. However, he went ahead to teach me the best gybing skills and other skills meant for beginners. His sternness must have made me concentrate more in his session which was a big advantage in acquiring the necessary skills.
Actually for the next training sessions, he was the guy assigned to me, but I didn’t think ill of him as I did on the first day. Thorough the next 7 sessions, we started getting along. He ensured that I learnt various skills of sailing upwind as well as downwind, better gybing and tacking skills and more importantly, how to correctly steer through a correct course successfully.
By the time my beginners’ sailing sessions were over, Dena was very glad and she surprised me with a sailing vacation in the Great Lakes region so that she could prove how good of a sailor I had become. The vacation was also very wonderful as we enjoyed our holiday in the open waters.