Sailing lessons are coming along smashingly.
Our boats have not been released from the dock yet, but don't let that fool you. I am a total natural at sailing. You should see the cut of my jib.
My sailing buddy and I successfully rigged the boat in the comfort and safety of the parking lot last week. I say "comfort and safety," but if I may be honest here, if and when you get brained by the boom, wouldn't you rather be thrown into the water than onto pavement? Maybe it's a personal preference thing. I thought we should go ahead and wear our life vests, for padding.
I figured rigging the boat would be easy, especially since they gave us a handy checklist of things to do before setting sail. I can do anything if there's a checklist involved.
Item one: "step aboard carefully." See? How hard can this be?
And then the list says, "slack off sheet and vang, clew to outhaul, foot in boom track, tack pin in, tension foot."
This reminds me of when I was first learning how to read chapter books. I especially remember reading Stuart Little. When I read, I skipped over the words I didn't understand, and figured out what they meant from the context. I may not have gotten them all right, but I got the idea.
With this in mind, here's my reading of the above: "slack off sheet and, to, foot in, in, foot."
Maybe it will get better? I read on: "Feel along luff, secure halyard to head, start in mast track. Jib on forestay, tack to stem plate, halyard on head board, No Twists!"
It is safe to say I am in big trouble.
So we did what anyone would do who hadn't done their homework: cheat. We graciously allowed the couple standing next to us to go first. And then we watched very carefully. You know, to make sure they did it right.
And wouldn't you know, it's easier to do than to type. I still don't know what half those words are, but I do know how to get the sails up. We even got to try it with the boat in the water, and nobody fell off.
So speaking of Stuart Little (because I often am), remember the scene in the movie where he sails in Central Park and wins the race for his new brother, George? That's totally going to be us next week. Except we are taller and we don't sound like Alex Keaton.