I’ve been boating now for over 25 years and the boat always had a motor behind it. I like the sound of a motor when I’m on a boat. This last month that all changed.
My daughter is into sail boating. She keeps talking about how great sail boating is. She has sailed the British Virgin Islands, Florida, and San Diego so she has some pretty good experience with sailing. She popped the question to me a few months ago—would I like to go sailing? As a family we have gone camping to Colorado the last couple of years which I truly enjoyed. With little time to think, I said yes. To my surprise she rented a 35 foot sailboat on Lake Superior. We would sail around the Apostle Islands off of northern Wisconsin. Being from the Midwest and wanting to get out of this awful heat, I agreed.
The first day out with sunny skies I was impressed with how she managed the sail and headed toward the Apostle Islands. With little warning the weather changed. Rain, wind, with the water white capping I wondered what I was doing. Where was that sound of an engine that I had grown accustomed to. My daughter was working the main sail; her husband was at the wheel. With 40 knot winds the sailboat was heeling and I was hanging on for dear life. I was truly impressed with how they managed that boat—reefing the main sail (sail half up), steering the boat even though the rudder was almost impossible to turn.
The next day the weather was better so they opened the front sail (jib). The way they both worked the jib and main sail was amazing. The power of the wind and the way we plowed through the water was strangely quiet. No sound of a motor but we were going 4-5 knots. The third day the weather was sunny and warm. The only problem was that there was hardly any wind. This was totally different than the first 2 days. Watching my daughter and son-in-law working the jib from one side of the boat to the other (tacking) allowed us to sail with almost no wind. When there was wind, we were against it (upwind)—the no go zone. They patiently managed to pull 1-2 knots against the wind.
I have to admit I enjoyed this kind of boating--the sheer power of the wind—the sound of the boat going through the water—with no motor. I guess you are never too old to enjoy a new experience. And, by the way, I was able to try a new fender I designed especially for sailboats.