Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Duck Dodge

Center for Wooden Boats sail

Quincy gave me sailing lessons at the Center for Wooden Boats for Christmas, and Rishi and I have so far taken four lessons and one classroom session. We've been up and down lake union practicing our tacks and jibes, heave-to's and man-overboard drills. Tonight was a special challenge. Our lesson was during Duck Dodge!

Duck Dodge is a post in itself. Check out this page for the lowdown on this crazy, crafty, close-quarters, three-class sailboat race up and down Lake Union. When I told our first instructor that I wanted to learn to sail mostly because of Duck Dodge, she thought I was a little nutty and certainly an adventure seeker.

We went out for the fourth time in a Blanchard Jr Knockabout. The winds were between 5 and 11 mph the whole time we were out -- the best wind we've had so far. We got out to the middle of the lake by about 6:30 when our of nowhere dozens of boats, many with pirate flags on their masts (the theme of the evening) sailed around us. Our instructor Scotty had us sail up even with Gasworks where we worked on our jibes and tacks in close quarters with a rowing crew, jet skies, kayaks, sailboats, a tug pushing a barge of dirt, and motorboats. It was by far the most stressful of all our sailing lessons.

Twice we came pretty close to much, much larger sailboats. We did good, though, and kept our paint to our own hull.

I highly recommend Sail Now! sailing lessons through the Center for Wooden Boats. This has been a trip! We have one more lesson next week, then we'll do our "check out" and be ready to rent and sail out on our own.

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