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Basic Keelboat Sailing with Spinnaker Sailing

Date: 21-22 July 2012 (Weekend)
Place
: San Francisco Bay (Out from Pier 40)

Boat: Santana 22
Sailing Class by: http://www.spinnakersailing.com/

Picasa Web Albums link: here

Sailing wasn't in my TODO list untill recently when I saw the sailboats cruising along in the SF Bay. Watching the sailboats from a big ferry was a "soo stupid, I should be down there" moment. That is when I wanted to try out sailing
 
Yeah, I wanted to go sailing but not actually do the sailing. My cousin "Sanjay" and his wife "Vidya" sail a lot. To my luck, my cousin found me a coupon that discounted the class price from a whopping 800$ for 4 classes to 395$ for the same. I am writing after the 1st two classes and now eager to do the other two classes coming up this weekend.

I along with my cousin and his wife, reached the Spinnaker sailing office. Waited for a while for the 4th person to come in (Jeremy) and then our veteran instructor Stuart. The first lesson were knots - Bowline, Figure of 8, double over-hand and clove hitch knots. After the knots lessons, I was given a detail explaination of the parts of a keel boat starting from the keel, the mast, the jib, boom, tiller/helm, main sails, jib sail, fairlead, cleat, fender, winch, Halyard etc. Then there was the Points of Sail (Close Haul, Beah Reach, Run) and then a lot of details about how to raise the sail, get the boat out of the harbor etc. It was a fun filled theory class.

At 11:00am, we headed out to the boat for some practical training. Learnt how to complete the basic checklist, get the sails up and back down. At 12:00pm we took a break to have lunch. I was lucky to have both Vidya and Sanjay with me for the training. They had also prepared some tasty sandwitches. After lunch, we headed out to the bay and did some actual sailing :-) Learnt how difficult and fun it is to control the sail and also realized that sailing is more than a one person task unless you take a hi-fi cruise sail boat that's fully automated. Learnt to tack and gybe and also to heave. We got the main sail down to reduce speed. I couldn't believe that the sail boat can travel that fast just by harnessing the sheer power of the wind.

We got back pretty tired that day. The second day was pretty much like the first but with different lessons. I got to play the valet for the boat, we ran a couple of drills parking and handling the sailboat using an outward motor. Later, we practiced "man-overboard" drills that consisted of throwing a buoy instead of one of us jumping which was good due to the insane temperature of the chill water.

It was a great experience. I'm looking forward for the next two classes and then some more training so that one day I can charter a sailboat and sail to may be hawaii? ;-)