Ladies New to Sailing, July 2 – 4, 2010
Ladies New to Sailing, July 2 – 4, 2010Report Abuse
Ladies New to Sailing, July 2 – 4, 2010
Paula Browne and Sharon Stahl decided to see what their husbands saw in this sailing stuff. Sailing doesn't require the same diligence to regular practice that Ollie and John spend on their musical instruments and probably doesn't have the same possibilities for romance that music inspires in the ladies, but for some reason their husbands get excited about spending time on an old hunk of fiberglass getting blown about by the wind and bouncing in the waves.
Paula and Ollie drove the skipper to Sandusky on Friday night and we prepped Kelly IV for our daysail on Saturday with the Stahl's who would arrive first thing in the morning. John and Sharon were right on time. We did a crew briefing so everyone was knowledgeable about the safety details, slipped the dock lines and we were off sailing! The breeze was less than 8 knots out of the south-southwest, so we were able to run wing-and-wing as we sailed out of the bay. There was the usual chop and wash from the myriad powerboats and my typical whine about how powerboaters seem to have no concern or understanding of the effect of their wakes. But it also became clear that the five of us were enjoying each other's company and the ladies were happily seeing and understanding the smiles on their husbands' faces.
Apparently, most folks, including our novice sailors onboard, just can't help enjoying themselves when the sun, breeze, and boat combine to swoosh through the water without any seeming effort and very little sound save the water washing past the hull. As we were daysailing, there was no need to press our efforts toward a particular destination, so we sailed where the wind was most fun.
John and Sharon reminded us they had brought the fixins for lunch so we decided to drop anchor off the hotel and beach on the Lake Erie side of Cedar Point and have our lunch there. It turns out that the lunch was terrific and the water so inviting that John and I jumped off Kelly IV for a cooling swim. Then we raised anchor and continued our lazy day of sailing. The wind was still pretty light so we turned back into Sandusky Bay so we could enjoy some sailing on the bay north of the marina. My thought at the time was the light air would limit how fast we could return when it was time to wrap up our day. As nice as the sailing had been so far, we enjoyed a terrific, if unexpected improvement!
The breeze picked up and suddenly we were blasting along in winds of 10 – 12 knots in the perfectly flat water and brilliant sunshine. The ladies were laughing and bubbly just like the guys! We just couldn't contain the joyful exuberance that the sparkling spray, heeling blue hull and the bright airfoil sails pulled from our hearts. Saturday afternoon was the perfect sailing day, especially when our goal was to help Paula and Sharon see what makes sailing so special to the men in their lives.
On Sunday, Paula, Ollie and I enjoyed a comfortable sail on Sandusky Bay as we had a decent breeze through most of the morning. We sailed northwest until we were due west of the southern tip of Johnson Island, then we tacked and sailed towards the coal pier and back again. Since Paula was new to sailing I was able to ask her the classic riddle: “What do you call it when two sailboats are heading the same direction?” Of course the answer is: “A Race!” With the nice breeze and clear day, Ollie and Paula tweaked lines and sheets to eek out as much speed as possible so that we could win our unannounced race with the 25 footer sailing parallel to us. It didn't hurt that we were sailing a beam reach on a waterline 2 feet longer than our erstwhile competitor.
Finally, the breeze fell away to a rather light wispy nature so we topped off the diesel at Battery Park and returned to Kelly's slip. We were pleasantly greeted by Jack VanArsdale, one of our crew for the upcoming week-long cruise that was to begin the next morning. Jack guided us into the slip and helped us tidy up as the Brownes and I said our goodbyes.