I had my first sailing experience in one of the most beautiful cities in Northern California, San Francisco. Sailing has always intimidated me. Not only is stepping on board of a boat is like entering a foreign country with its own language and culture, but also being at a mercy of open water never particularly appealed to me. However, my new boyfriend insisted on us “sharing” this experience together and I went along with it.
It was a typical Northern Californian morning, cold and gloomy. I don’t like the cold, so I kept thinking to myself why did I ever agree to this. While we were motoring out of the harbor everyone on board was keeping busy. I dug myself into a corner listening to the strange language of “afts”, “lines”, “booms” and “travelers”. I carefully checked my watch to see how much longer of this misery I had to endure. My hiding didn’t last long because soon we had to raise the sail and I was given the important job of pointing the boat into the wind. As I labored over the task of keeping the boat straight, I forgot that I was cold and didn’t like being there. I was filled with rush and excitement of controlling such a large machine. Finally the sail was up and I was instructed to fall off. Our huge lifeless sail suddenly sprung to life filling up with air with a large clap. The experience startled and left me breathless. I sat down to collect myself and catch my breath. My neck hurt from staring up at the wind chicken and my fingers hurt from holding on to the helm for dear life. But as I stared at the boat making its passage through the water I realized that I was really enjoying myself and from that moment on sailing would be a big part of my life.