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Sailing Schools  Summer School, Anyone?  The Tradition Continues  How to Sharpen Your Boating Skills  What a sailing school can be

What a sailing school can be  by Nicholas Hayes, author of “Saving Sailing”

T

aji Jacobs saw a Facebook post Dads and moms chatting on Facebook about a new kind of sailing used surprising adjectives such as calming, program, discussed it with the thrilling, inspiring. Check. family over dinner, and they The first lesson was like nothing the decided to give it a try. family had ever experienced. They were Taji was always on the look-out for met in the parking lot by a confident, fun outdoor activities that might be articulate counselor named Janelle who done as a family. Her daughter Adi was handed out sunscreen and raved about the nine, fearless, fiery, and loved the feelglorious weather and the fact that they’d ing of fast. Adi’s happiest day was hitget wet, but be safe. ting the required height for the Anaconda roller coaster ##What if crew of all ages at the theme park. had a chance to steer the Daud was 13, mildly boat and trim the sails? asthmatic, quick, bright, and the technical guru of the family. He hadn’t yet met a school subject he couldn’t ace or a computer game he couldn’t master. Mom was convinced that he needed fresh air. Taji’s husband Paul often reminisced about sailing with childhood neighbors who car-topped a Phantom to a Northwoods campsite a couple of summers. Taji thought sailing might be fun for everyone, though she was a bit apprehensive herself. Would she feel scared? Janelle made certain that nobody was What if she didn’t understand the wearing cotton or carrying a cellphone lingo and made a mistake that caused in an open pocket. They left them in the trouble? Would the kids think it was car. Everyone picked a lifejacket from a boring? Would Paul be interested? She rack in a shed and learned how to secure researched carefully. it correctly. They walked down the dock, The sailing school supplied life jackwhere five sailboats with luffing mainsails ets and highly trained sailing instrucand furled jibs were held firm by five high tors, watched the weather, and boasted school kids, ready to help with boarding a durable safety record. Check. and shoving off. The school’s class flyer said that kids Janelle pulled Paul aside and handed would drive a sailboat on the first day, if him a waterproof digital camera on a they wanted to. Check. lanyard, suggesting that he “might start 56 April 2015 SpinSheet

snapping now. Your daughter is going to drive.” She then demonstrated safe boarding and helped the whole family to places in the cockpit. She explained how the boom was just above head and that sitting was safest. She showed how cleats cleat and winches winch. For a few moments, she focused on Daud, explaining that he was going to be the one in charge of speed and comfort and offered basic instructions on when to ease or trim the mainsheet based on the heel of the boat. She used her weight to demonstrate. Taji would have two lines to manage: the green one that unfurled the jib, and the blue one that sheeted it. Paul was already camera happy. Adi, of course, would be at the helm. The kids on the dock helped them cast off. Janelle pointed to a place for Adi to aim the bow. As Adi turned down, Janelle nudged Daud to ease the mainsheet, talked Taji through the signals from the jib, and kept a knee near the tiller, though Adi seemed not to need her help. Janelle gave clear instructions and explained why with each one, even as she pointed out things they shouldn’t miss: the graceful wooden classic yacht moored nearby, other families sailing, the red and green markers telling them where to and where not to sail, and their own grins. The boat accelerated as they came into more wind, and a ribbon of cool spray came over the bow as it parted the choppy waves outside of the mooring spinsheet.com

SpinSheet April 2015  

Chesapeake Bay Sailing

SpinSheet April 2015  

Chesapeake Bay Sailing

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