Thursday, March 5, 2009

Idiot or Novice?

I remember my first sail. Ooh, how that changed my life from a landlubber to a sea going maniac.
I grew up in the middle of South Africa. No water mass big enough to go sailing on. My contact with water sports was paddling with my canoe on the almost non existing river in the Olifants Valley or over a long weekends going water skiing with friends.

Living in a small town everybody knows everybody and I knew of an old Sonnet Dinghy standing in someones backyard rotting away. So I had it looking like new again with a nice thick glossy layer of epoxy. Now, I didn't know a thing about sailing, less about rigging a dinghy. I got my hands on a sailing book from the library. I think the book was older than me. Read every little thing in there, from righting your dinghy to sail adjustment. Weird thing I could not figure out was why they were talking about apparent wind. According to the book you need to have the sail set this way for this angle to the wind, etc.

So I set of for the a piece of water large enough for the "Art of Sailing". Rigged my dinghy and was launching it just as the wind started to pickup. In the dinghy and off I went. Sail adjustment was easy, but awfully wrong. In the book they just told you what apparent wind was and that you should sail to the angle of the wind.

So clever me was watching the wind sock at the clubhouse for direction, sailing and adjusting my sails to True Wind. Idiot!! Needles to say the dinghy didn't perform like the previous owner described it: It shoots off like a Rocket.

I enjoyed myself so much that I transformed into a sailor for life. Next chance I got I went to the city to buy myself the Complete Sailing Manual, I needed to know more about my new obsession. When I learned that you should sail on apparent wind, I shot off like a rocket.

Idiot? I believe novice.

P.S. Not me in the picture

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