Sailing is such a great experience. I learned to use my core to stay balanced on the small boats we used (Sabbots, Lazers and open-bics), and my arm muscles (biceps and triceps) and chest (pectorals) to work the ropes and keep the sails in line. I would often find myself jelly-limbed at the end of the day with a fierce appetite from burning so many calories and working all those muscles. Beef Jerky was my food of choice because of its high protein content.
Due to my scrawny build, big appetite, straw hat, blue swimming trunks and red life vest, the other students at sailing camp often compared me to a character called Luffy from the Anime one piece. They gave me the nickname The Straw-hat Captain. We were having a great time together learning to sail.
One day, a few of us students and a camp counselor decided to take a Lazer out in what turned out to be unsafe weather, undenounced to us. You see, neither the counselor or any of us students got the memo that strong winds were expected, too strong for safe sailing. So, we launched out on the day’s long voyage ahead without any hesitation.
The winds increased and the trip suddenly became dangerous. Me and the guys made a joke about how our one female teammate was top heavy, and because of that she was successfully balancing out the boat. It got pretty scary, and the boat nearly capsized five times. It was fast, it was dangerous, and it was a thrill!
When we got back, the counselor got told off for going out in inclement weather. But we had survived it together, and what a story we had to tell. There were memorable conversations about religion, politics and music, if I recall. And ultimately, it did lead to the three of us getting promoted from novice to intermediate because of our successful sailing skills combined with completion of our novice training, the year before.
By Seth Hackley