Monday night my husband and I took a sailing class. It’s not a comprehensive class; the instructor said she would just be teaching us to sail Sunfish. These are spiffy little boats that can be sailed by just one person, or have several people in them.
Our instructor showed us how to tie on to a cleat (which I think I’ve already forgotten), ran through the basics, and chivvied us all into the boats. My mate and I managed to clamber into one, and I sent us bravely off across the lake. One hand on the sheet, the other on the tiller, master of my own destiny, and if only I could figure out which way the breeze was coming from I might even be able to get somewhere. (Story of my life.)
After a while we switched places. As soon as my husband took the helm the wind died completely. We spent a pleasant evening paddling back and forth across the lake, sailing for a few minutes during a brief spurt of wind, then paddling some more. The instructor directed her tiny fleet from the shore with a megaphone.
She had also shown us how to right the boat if it should capsize. Several of the more enthusiastic students practiced this maneuver. We watched them with interest for a while, then I said to my husband, “I don’t think I want to practice capsizing today.”
“Me neither,” he replied. “I’d be happy to find some wind.”
We’ve got another lesson tonight, and then we’ll have a little Red Cross card saying that we know how to sail a Sunfish. This will enable us to rent Sunfish at any of the Parks & Rec locations in town.
Just before the class started I discovered my older son wanted to learn as well. Of course all the classes are full for this year, but I can try and get him into one next year. In the meantime perhaps I can take him out and literally “show him the ropes.”