I don’t actually know how to sail.
I didn’t sail as a kid, there were no summer sailing camps…up until a year ago, my sailing experience was limited to getting hit by a boom and subsequently falling overboard as a Hobie 18‘ was capsizing. Last year, a friend took me out on a J-36, and I loved it. I’ve gone gung-ho ever since; the sailboat move fitting quite nicely with my effort to downsize and simplify my life. A year later, I still race on the J-36 as auxiliary crew for the real races. I’m pretty handy with a spinnaker. I am also employed as an ordinary seaman aboard a Colvin 65′ and a Colvin 105′, both gaff rigged schooners. We do day sails three times a day in the York River. If we get the bookings, we’ll be leaving in December headed for the San Blas Islands off the coast of Panama for three months. Lastly, I live on the Whitby. She is the only boat with which I have to opportunity to actually get wheel time and try to “figure out” sailing. I’ve taken the trial by fire approach and, so far, we’re both surviving. Some lessons along the way have come to light. Some of the more memorable are “stow or strap everything down that moves” and “don’t run a full jib in storm force winds while sailing single-handed.” The autopilot fails regularly in higher winds, as the forces involved are too much for the hydraulic actuator. I’ve got a lot to learn, and a long way to go. Trouble is, I don’t know what direction I’m headed in.
On a lighter note, here’s a youtube video from today…literally my first time single handing anything with a sail on it. I am truly a novice, but it was fun any way. Next time I’ll clear my sheets, and perhaps pick lighter winds. Enjoy.