Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Please Stop Teaching Me How to Sail.

Yesterday the Weather Gods decided to introduce fall. On Monday it was a glorious 85 degrees and I was loving it. In celebration of Summer 2.0 I even wore a dress to work. Yesterday though, the temperature dropped down to a cool 59 degrees. To my southern bones that is a reason to break out the ole scarf. Despite the cool temps we still decided to go sailing. It was crystal clear and breezy. I called Captain John to see if he still wanted to take the boat out and when I mentioned the cool weather he replied, "Well, we have lots of clothes." I tell you, that guy takes no prisoners. He wasn't about to let me out of an evening booze cruise just because of some chilly weather. Sailors are tough like that. So are Canadians. I, however, do not qualify as either a sailor or a Canadian. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

John's boat, Out of the Blue, is a J24 which means it is a 24 foot sail boat that is designed for racing. aka it's fast. It's meant to have a crew of five sailors for racing but it can be raced with just four crewmen. So, when we took it out last night and there were only three of us that meant that I was expected to actually contribute. And by contribute I mean help out with the whole sailing thing. John has a slightly different definition of contribute. He made me drive! Can you believe it? Clearly he did not get the memo about me not knowing how to sail.

Unfortunately for me, John used to be a sailing instructor. He actually enjoys teaching people how to sail. See, the problem with knowing how to sail is that the guys are going to start expecting me to help sail. Do you see what I'm getting at here? If I don't know how to sail then I can just sit there, hang out, and pour drinks. But if I do know how to sail I'll have to (gulp) work sail. Ignorance is bliss, in this case.

John made me drive the boat for almost all of the evening. Come to think of it, I'm not sure he touched the tiller (steering wheel wannabe) once. Granted, he never went too far away from me. And he reassured my 8 million times that he wasn't going to let anything bad happen. But I wasn't having it. I was convinced (here we go again with my irrational fears) that the boat was going to flip over. And yes, I know the technical term is capsize but using poor terminology helps remind them that I don't want to know how to sail.

Sailing the boat is like your own personal aquatic yoga workout. Every muscle in my body was tense. I was trying to use my whole 130(ish) pounds to keep the 3,000 pound boat from tipping. Its an exercise in futility. When you're a passenger the boat never seems to be going that fast. Nor does it seem to be heeling (leaning) all that much. But when you're driving? It's feels like it is about to tip the entire time. You can feel every move anyone makes, feel every wave, and every little gust of wind. You're constantly adjusting the course and trimming the sails. Or in my case, just yelling at John.

Me: John! We're going too fast!

John: Head up wind a little.

Me: What does that mean?! Like this?

John: Yup.

Me: John! We're going to tip!

John: crickets chirping...

Me: John! We're going to fast!

John: Well, what should you do?

Me: John! Come sail the boat! PLEASE! We're going to tip!

John: You're fine.

Me: JOHN! I don't like this. Can someone please get me a glass of wine!?

John: Here's your wine. Keep holding your course...

And so it went. Repeat that same conversation for about an hour and you'll get the idea.

After what seemed like hours, I finally managed to convince The Canadian to take the tiller for a few minutes so I could grab a photo of the sunset. Sucka! I didn't go anywhere near the back of the boat after that. Nope. I was going to sit and enjoy myself and enjoy not steering the boat.

Doesn't it look like we're sailing into Africa? If it were Africa there would be monkeys in those trees. And elephants grazing under them. But then there would probably be snakes too. On second thought, maybe it's better that its just Canada and not Africa. You know how I hate animals without legs.

Anyway, by the grace of God, we managed to make it back to land. I got home and promptly fell asleep in my clothes. Then I woke up this morning feeling like a truck hit me. That sailing stuff is exhausting.

There is one week left in the season before the boat comes out of the water and I'm willing to bet that I can make it without having to drive again. Then next year I'm just going to fake amnesia so I can go back to my old job of boat bartender. Genius. See? Not just a hat rack, my friend. (name that tv show!)

1 comment:

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