30 Days on a Dinghy

Okay, sliiiiiight exaggeration.

I definitely did not spend 30 days on a dinghy on Lake Ontario. However, the sailing course that I took was every Monday & Wednesday for the entire month of August, so 30 days is somewhat relevant. Also the title “2 Days a Week for a Month on a Dingy” didn’t have the same eye catching ring to it.

30 Days on a Dinghy

Ahhhh, dingy’s, dinghy’s dingy’s.

I mentioned that I was doing my CAN SAIL 1&2 lessons in my birthday post, and was planning to recap it all for you guys. Adam has recently fallen in love with sailing, so I said i’d do my lessons to see if I could love it as much as him.

(Also since I work in marine insurance, I convinced my manager to pay for the lessons, so it was a real win for Cheng).

In this class, we learnt how to rig, sail, de-rig and upright a capsized 420 sailboat. It is exactly 4.2 metres in length (hence the name, 420) and is most often sailed by two people – one person steering while adjusting the main sail, and the second person acting as the ‘crew.’

The Challenges

There were a couple challenges that I had expected to happen for the most part.

The first challenge I had was learning something so completely new to me, that had absolutely no bearing on how physically fit I was. Sailing is a sport, but not in the general sense of the word that I am so used to (i.e. RUGBY is a very different sport than sailing).

Sailing 5

Being able to do 10 chin ups in a row was not about to help me out here. With sailing you had to understand which direction the wind was coming from, how it affected your sails and your speed, how to tack and jibe (turn around) while not turning in circles, and how to shift your weight on this tiny boat so that you didn’t capsize.

The second challenge was taking all the things that I learnt, and being able to apply them in 10-15 knot winds.

The first few lessons we had, the wind was super light, and that made it perfect to learn all the basics; How to switch hands when the boom was switching sides, how to tighten your sail so you could go quicker, and even how to upright the boat when it had capsized.

When the wind picked up, it was an entirely different situation. Everything happened at terrifying speeds, including when the boom would slam over, and almost take off our heads. After a turn, i’d forget to straighten out the tiller (the thing that steers the boat), and we’d find ourselves going in CIRCLES.

For the first 40 minutes of a particularly windy class, our boat was tilted on a 45 degree angle, and I screamed bloody murder as water poured into our boat. The teacher came up to us after the wind died down and said verbatim “I don’t know how you didn’t capsize. You should have. You really should have.”

30 Days on a Dinghy

The End Result

Well he confirmed that we all passed our CAN SAIL 1 which was a very proud moment for me indeed.

By the end of week 4, I felt much more comfortable sailing on a dinghy than when I first started. Still, there are so many things for me to learn, get quicker at, and figure out.

Adam already has visions in his mind of us joining 420 Club (a race club that happens every week during the summer), and the two of us going to the Olympics. Soo0o, I have a lot to look forward to I guess…

In the end, I’m super happy I got to try something completely different. I have a feeling that a lot of sailing is going to be in my future (perhaps some foreshadowing?), so I’m glad that I’ve acquired these skills to hone.

30 Days on a Dinghy

On a boat being controlled by someone other than ourselves =P

What About You!?

  • Have you ever sailed before?
  • Have you ever taken a course in something completely different for you?

 
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  1. This is awesome Bev! I used to sail with my dad on a little Sunfish – well I guess he would sail and I would just ride along… but it’s wonderful to be out on the water. And it looks like you had a great time!

    • beverleyc

      30 August

      Ooo that is so cool! So you know what i’m talking about – it’s hard ass work! haha

  2. I’ve never been sailing, but I can totally imagine how it’s a completely different type of physical exertion. New experiences keep us humble! And sometimes we fall in love with it. So glad you had an awesome time

    • beverleyc

      30 August

      Seriously though! I was like ‘there is something i’m not good at?!’
      Heheh. I kid.

  3. way to get out out of your comfort zone & learn something totally new! 10 chin ups in a row girl, you are a beast! i hope to get to that level too.

    • beverleyc

      30 August

      Thank you Grace! It was seriously trying at times, but super glad I did it. And you can!! Practice makes perfect (or makes 10 chin ups)

  4. Emily Swanson

    30 August

    Totally love your determination Beverly! <3 And 10 chin-ups in a row? That is like GOALZZ for me right now! I'm so thankful you didn't capsize. Those wave and water can be so mighty.

    • beverleyc

      30 August

      Aww thank you Emily!! You’re absolutely right, it’s a whole different world on the water!

  5. Props on getting that covered by work!!

    My college was on the water and had a sailing course, but I never took it. I just forced people to take me out on their boats. This comment is not as funny as if I could use emojis haha.

    • beverleyc

      31 August

      omggg what a fun school that would be! hahah, don’t worry i get it 😉

  6. What a cool class to take! Sailing looks and sounds hard and it’s awesome that you’re gaining experience with it! What a fun couple thing to do, too!

    • beverleyc

      31 August

      Omg Liv, it was so challenging at times! Thanks girl!

  7. Polyglot Jot

    31 August

    Sounds like a huge challenge–ive never tried it before!

  8. I’ve never sailed before! The closest thing I can think of was on our honeymoon this past June…Ray learned how to steer (drive? control?) one of those little hobby catamarans! We might a nice couple from Florida who showed us (ahem, Ray) the ropes.

    • beverleyc

      8 September

      ooo that sounds like it would be so relaxing! hahah good ol Ray taking the lead

  9. Emily Weir

    2 September

    How fun! What a great hobby for you and your boyfriend to share. My dad loves sailing so we usually have an annual sailing day. It’s incredibly peaceful out on the way.

    • beverleyc

      8 September

      That sounds awesome! I wish my family did something like that too

  10. Laura

    3 September

    This looks like SO much fun! I sailed once in the Bahamas when I was a kid and it freaked me out! As soon as I’d get within 100 yards of the short I was sure I was going to crash! My dad and I still joke about it to this day! Hopefully I’d be a bit more chill as an adult! LOL!

    • beverleyc

      8 September

      Omg i would LOVE to sail in the Bahamas! Hahaha. I can’t imagine doing that as a kid though. Definitely an adult learning experience

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