I have started to learn to sail, having joined the UW Madison Hoofers Sailing Club. I had previously taken a Union Mini-course on sailing, and that 3-day course let me know that I wanted to learn more.
The mini-course had been over the course of three very windy (blue flag) days in late June. In contrast, the first Hoofers "Intro to Sailing" for which I had signed up was canceled due to lack of wind. I was able to make it to a second session of that class last Friday afternoon. It was also a day of light winds (green flag) but we had enough to get us out onto the water. The sun was high and bright and if there were any clouds, they were minimal.
There were three of us in a Badger Sloop, two students and the instructor. As we sailed, we shifted our positions around the boat, so that both students had a turn at the tiller and working the sheets. Because the wind was so light, we actually lost the breeze a few times, and had to work the tiller back and forth get us moving toward the windier areas. It was hot, sweaty work, but it was also three hours of fun.
Later in the evening I returned for a moonlight cruise on Spray, a cruising keelboat owned by Hoofers. On board was the skipper, Barry, two crew, and ten others who had signed up. Of course, since it was technically a lesson, we all had to pitch in when needed, and Barry offered some time at the tiller to anyone who wanted it. I considered it, but ultimately chose to stay at my perch up at the bow end of the boat, watching the magic that was the rise of the full moon over the water.
The breeze had picked up a bit since the afternoon, and we were able to move along across the water at a nice clip. The temperature was a perfect blend of warm and cool. There were a few other boats out on the water, but mostly the lake was ours. I'm pretty sure I was grinning the whole time.
The three-hour cruise (a three-hour tour, a three-hour tour!) passed by too quickly, and before I knew it we had put the boat away and I was back on land. The time had come to hop on my bike and head off to find midnight breakfast.
I am particularly excited for this coming Saturday, when I will do it again on the Knotty Rascal. Hopefully, we will see some of the Perseid meteor shower during the cruise. Looking forward to it!