Hiking on the water
I got really lucky today at the MIT Sailing Pavilion. I had gone back to brush up on the skills I’d learned last Sunday, and when I was all done practicing by myself (having narrowly escaped both capsizing on the first turn, and concussion to my head on a jibe), I ran into one of my instructors, who offered to take me out one-on-one, and teach me how to sail upwind.
With some forceful commands and good patience, Bashar taught me how to do these things on my own:
- Hiking — leaning way out on the boat towards the wind, to counterbalance the sail being pushed strongly in the opposite direction. It’s FUN. The boat heels so much that I could swear we were (intentionally) inches from capsizing. The photo below (by flickr user good_day) shows what it looks like to hike out.
- Running — sailing directly (or almost directly) downwind. This felt very relaxing and peaceful, but I am told to watch out for the unexpected jibe.
- Close-hauled — trying to sail as directly upwind as you can, by pulling the sail in close and zig-zagging, tacking at ~ 90° angles.
I had tons of fun and even got to sit in the boat while we raced with the Advanced Racing class. My thighs and back are killing me, though, and I might not be able to walk tomorrow. :-D
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