Sunday, May 18, 2008



I think I could really get into this Sailing thing. Since I’ve already registered in the Intermediate Sailing class during the summer session, it must be serious. I must say it’s been some of the most fun I’ve had going to school. I got my grade for the first class and scored an “A”. Of course everyone else in the class got “A’s” also. With my past college grades that should bring my GPA up to 0.75.

My Instructor, Dave allowed Cathie to go with us when the class was held on his boat. My motive here is to get her to like sailing too. I might be needing someone to crew. Speaking of crew, Dave has asked me to crew on two races so far. I asked him why he would want someone with as little experience as me to crew for him during a race. He said, “Well, you’re retired” meaning I’m available and work doesn’t get in the way. I was still flattered that he asked me.

The first race, called a beer can race, was held in the evening and is a biweekly event put on by the Coronado Yacht Club. The term “beer can race”, I am told, comes from someone throwing a beer can overboard and boats in the race having to sail around it. Because that’s a big no-no in today’s day and age, the race course is set up utilizing buoys in the bay as navigation points. In the late evening when the race is held, there is very little wind, so it’s a slow race where strategy on the part of the captain plays a big part. We came in 5th out of a field of 12 boats.

The second race held by another Yacht Club in the northern part of San Diego Bay covered a little over 7 miles. This time we faired better crossing the finish line 3rd in our class. The wind on this day varied from no wind at all to a nice stiff breeze. At times we were actually dead in the water due to the lack of wind. So far my duties have been handling one of the jib sheets (rope), adjusting the jib to get the most efficient power out of the wind. Do I know what I’m doing? Well, I know more than I did several months ago, but other more experience crew members have to provide me with direction by giving me subtle hints as to what I should do. This is usually accomplished by yelling at me, which seems to work.

At the end of the second race, Dave told me he was including me in the crew for all the beer can races, which I’m looking forward to. Dave didn’t say why he was including me. I would like to believe it's because I performed so well, but it's probably because I'm retired and available.

In the above photo we are “wing on wing”, meaning the jib sail to one side and the main sail to the other to take advantage of the wind behind us.

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