Sun, Sailing, Wind and Weather
As I'm attempting to begin writing this to
you, my eyes keep glancing toward the windows to see if there's
any way that the sun will come out, because it's very overcast
and it has been raining on and off all morning. Though it's
very hot outside so I've been trying to talk Herman into taking
me sailing. His counteroffer was that we both should sit down
and write for awhile, and by then the clouds should be cleared
up so hopefully we can go sailing. I'm even surprised myself
at how much I have learned to love sailing. The scariest thing
about the whole experience is when the boat begins to tip.
And I'm proud to tell you that this is because when the wind
changes, the sail captures the wind and that is the direction
that we wind up going.
Now Herman is a pretty good sailor, and he
generally has complete control of the boat. But when a gust
of wind comes up quickly from a different direction, he can
only go as far as the sail will let him go. In other words,
unlike a motorboat, when one sails its really about
the wind and the sail. Even a really seasoned sailor will
tell you the same thing. Certainly there is technique involved
in sailing, but by and large the wind pretty much controls
which way the boat might go. Where Hermans technique
comes in to play is in pretty much charting the course. Which
he does by manipulating the rudder. I can't believe I even
know what that's called! And I even know what it does, too.
There's also something else called the centerboard,
which also helps with direction and steering. Every time I
get in the boat, Herman generally has to bring it on the beach
in order to get me into the boat. What he did was take a regular
patio chair, cut off the legs, and bolt it directly onto the
boat where the bench seat normally is. So he basically just
picks me up and puts me in the seat. The problem though is
that when the boat is on the beach, the centerboard generally
gets clogged with sand, so when we do get underway, it's always
a challenge for Herman to get the centerboard to drop. Though
we can't seem to figure out a better way to actually get me
in the boat.
We generally just use the main sail, but sometimes
we will also use the jib, which is the smaller front sail.
I can't believe how much I actually have learned about sailing
from Herman. He is a great skipper, and I must admit that
Im a fine first mate.
Im looking at the sky, and it still
doesnt look great for sailing. Though Im still
attempting to talk Herman into it. He just mentioned that
the wind was better, but we may have to put on our rain gear.
Well, well bring it along, but at least well still
Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career
in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from
Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be
accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"