I’m Gonna Sail This Thing if it Kills Me

How do you get your daughter to go sailing with you — especially after you inquire quietly, and she says she’s not interested?  I‘ve found bribery to be key here.  It was Monday afternoon, and my wife and son were heading to some basketball thing — they do basketball things all the time.  While running a few errands, I called my daughter to ask what she wanted me to get her from Subway to go sailing.  She gave me her order, and never said anything about not wanting to go out.

We got to the marina after 6:00 pm, and headed right to the slip.  Nothing bad had happened in our absence, and we took our time getting things ready.  I decided I wanted to use the sail cradle this time to see if it would help us raise and lower the sails properly.  Also, I wanted to have those rigged before we left the slip, so I wouldn’t have to untangle them when we wanted to raise the sails later.

Leaving the slip was about as perfect as it could be.  Since the last time we left, we backed out of the channel, my daughter was suitably impressed.  She took the tiller for a bit and we made our way out to the river.  On the way, we had to shift our direction a bit because a sailboat was on a collision course with us, which gave me the chance to tell my daughter about stand on and give way vessels.  Once we got into the river, we carefully hoisted the mainsail, and of course got almost no ooomph from the wind.  When we deployed the jib, it would hardly even flap out, regardless of the point of sail.  Yes, the wind, which had been about 8 miles an hour had fallen to about3-4, which meant we had nothing going for us.  Now, we got a puff here and there, and we felt and tried to ride it, but to no avail, and Hercules was put into action more than I would like in getting ourselves positioned into the wind.  After about an hour, during which we had a very nice series of conversations and ate our dinners, we motored in, with her steering almost until we got to the dock.  (In fact, it was twilight, so we had the lights on.)  As we started to back into our slip, a neighbor offered to help, and I accepted.  It didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped, more because I had different expectations of how I was going to dock, and wasn’t able to think “how can I do this even better with help?”  In any case, it didn’t take us long before we were docked.

While I wouldn’t rate this as good as the last time we went out, we enjoyed being in the boat, with each other, and she had a good time on the tiller.  A winner, in my opinion.

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