Sailing teaches an essential life skill: balance. Balancing your weight on the water. Balancing your listening skills with your immediate intuition. Balancing the pull on the ropes and sail. There is a reason why so many idioms and inspirational phrases take from the sport.
And it is a sport. Leisure sailing is riding waves and wind passively. Race sailing is harnessing waves and wind in efforts to move faster than your opponent.
This semester I had my first experience sailing in the ocean. We usually practice on Lake Henrick which is small for a lake, therefore extremely small for sailing (which usually occurs in a bay or cove of water). Its perimeter is no more than 3 miles of tree-lined edges ideal for a photo op, less than for consistent winds. The trees shelter the water, and wind indiscriminately passes through the bulk of the forest. In sailing, this is described as, “shifty winds.” Sailing in the ocean makes for more consistent wakes and winds. It is always pounding at you.I was jostled, thrust, and lifted 4-5 feet in air in the ocean. A sailboat can do amazing things given the right circumstances. Though we turtled-- our boat flipped over, I enjoyed the rush of it all. Having to nosedive into the water and attempt to flip the boat back vertically made me feel so athletic, strong.. I never thought I'd ever have such an exhilarating experience.
I'm not yet comfortable taking someone else out on the waters, but I am willing and excited to try my hand at taking a boat out alone. Perhaps in the Spring