‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sailing 101, episode 1

Tomorrow we learn how to rig the boat. I think that's what you call it, yes? We've been learning things via book and dry erase board while gazing out over the water at ospreys and daydreaming about having a house with a view like this, or a boat in a harbor like this, or a house boat, or a... I'm sorry Mr. Sailing Instructor Man, were you saying something? I have no idea what he's talking about, but the view is stunning.

My point being, I have no idea how to rig a boat. I know that ropes are not called ropes. They are called LINES or sometimes SHEETS. I thought when people talked about sheets they meant the sails, since, you know, sails kind of look like sheets. Sheets do not look like ropes unless you have twisted a sheet into a rope and are using it to lower yourself out of a window. Or so I've heard.

Instead of "sheets," the sails are called the Main Sail (not pronounced Main Sail, of course) and the jib. Or, "the big sail" and "the little sail" if you are me and my sailing buddy. We are trying to learn the real words for things but it's not taking.

So tomorrow we'll go out and haul up our mainsuls and our jibs with our halyards. I am told the boats will be on trailers and I wonder if the trailers are equiped with motors, making the little boats rock from side to side in a stomach lurching manner - like a mechanical bull. That would make sense because it's probably easy to remember how to tie a bowline (not pronounced bowline, of course) when you are on dry land and nothing is swinging at you trying to knock you unconscious.

I have practiced tying bowlines on dry land and, if I may say so, am quite good at it. I am also good at the bathrobe knot. I don't know what bathrobe knots are really called because it's not in my book. But I did manage to get our whole side of the room calling it a bathrobe knot. Oopsie Daisy.

Getting the lines to go where they're supposed to go should prove interesting. It looks like threading my sewing machine, except bigger and blowier. I think about this a bit and find myself humming "she broke the needle and she can't sew, walking the dog...." It's a sea shanty.

I am totally cut out for this sailing nonsense.


Rose Brier Studio said...

Rigging a small boat is lots easier than threading a sewing machine, even if there's no diagram printed on the boat. Or is it just that I learned how to do it when I was 9?

Have fun (I'm so jealous)!

JAbel said...

Sail Boats,That's why whatever God invented motors.I do love sailing though as long as I don't have to do anything just because of all the things you just mentioned.And your mention of sea shanties has me humming now the old P-Town Jug Band crowd favorite they covered of"What do you do with a Drunken Sailor"

Anonymous said...

I remember on the sailboat I´d have my wife call out the colours of the ropes, instead on the names of them, whenever she wanted me to do anything with them (like when taking a turn, or whatever it´s called). We never tipped over though (or whatever it´s called).
I´m more a four-wheels-and-dry-land type of guy.


The Whispering Poppies said...

I'll stick to our dinghy. The lingo is easier.

Dana's Brain said...

I think I mentioned we had a sailboat while I was growing up. I spent many years on it. Today, I couldn't rig a boat, much less get it out of a harbor, to save my life!

I do miss being out on the water though...

Janna said...

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum. This sounds great, where are you taking lessons?

P.S. I love your blog, because it reassures me there are other snarky people under sixty on Cape.

Susan said...

Rose - it's just all the blowing around and the water. It's a problem with sailing.

jabel - I am hoping I won't have to do anything once we get the boat rigged. It looks like that's what people do on their sailboats, after all.

anon - it would be so much easier if the names weren't all fancy and starboardy. What's with that, anyway? Of course once I learn all the words I will talk like a sailer. I kind of do that already.

Poppy - and dingy is fun to say.

Dana - we have yet to attempt the "getting it out of the harbor" part. Stay tuned.

Janna - I will be snarky into and beyond my sixties. And thank you for reminding me of the same!

Fred said...

From Stan Freberg's album "History of the United States, Part 1", when Christopher Columbus discovers America:

"Here, let me jump up on the rigging and address the crew."

"You mean on top of everything else, this ship is rigged?"

Word Verification: scisi, which I believe is an ancient Latin contraction for "excuse me, you are extremely dingy, do you mind if I cut your hair?"