Second Solo Sail – Much Better This Time

So, on Sunday we took our shiny new certified sailor books over to the Santa Barbara Sailing Center and checked out a boat. Oddly, even after our first solo sail, they let us have one.

I even smiled and waved at the guy who so quickly dragged us off the sand bar we’d gotten ourselves stuck on, thinking he might want to recognize us, but he just waved back and said ‘good day for a sail today!’

I think they either:

1. Were so busy that day they didn’t remember dragging us off the sandbar, or

2.Things like that happen so often it wasn’t worth remembering.

I’m suspecting they have a lot of those incidents happen with new sailors and so #2 was far more likely the scenario.

So, we sailed and on this particular trip, we did 100% great. So great, I did a little wriggle dance after we had safely docked the boat and moored her securely. Take that you first solo sail!

On this particular day, there was a U.S. military vessel anchored off the coast.

Sailing in Santa Barbara

We speculated the evening before about whether they would let the military guys on shore to play and thought that was probably great fun for the locals and we might want to be safely in our apartment instead of out and about.

Mr. Man also looked up the rules for how close one can get to a military vessel – apparently 400 feet is the closest you can get. That’s four football fields, I thought. I wondered if it’s like the game of Battleship – if we sailed too close, would they fire a warning shot off our bow before they sank us?

Either way, we decided to stay far away – close enough to take pictures, but far away from warning shots.

Military vessel in the harbor

The day was so perfect – just a little rolling swell, the perfect wind, the perfect sunshine.

A perfect day of sailing

It was so perfect that, after an hour or so, it was PACKED out there! We were counting off the ‘give-way’ rules on our fingers and re-testing ourselves all afternoon. Hopefully this picture will give you an idea of how many boats were all around us all afternoon.

Lots and lots of boats off Santa Barbara

There were also some racing teams out practicing – see that boat with the dark-colored sails?

Sailing off the Santa Barbara Coast - racing team off the port bow

These sailors are crazy coordinated. Tons of people on the deck, but when it’s time to tack, every single one of them moves in in perfect time with everyone else – as the sailboat turns, four or five of them will crouch, cross under the boom, and pop up on the other side and not one is tangled up with the other. I would have knocked at least one of them off by accident and probably fallen down the companionway in the meantime.

On the way back in, we practiced our wing-on-wing, which is where you position the sails on opposite sides of the boat to maximize your wind and you ‘run’ forward with the wind directly at your back.

Sailing wing-on-wing

It was a perfect day.

fourteenergirl Written by:

A mother, sister, wife, and daughter who writes, knits, hikes, and practices yoga on the west coast. Loves a zippy chardonnay or a tart margarita!

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