Sailing is not only an excellent outdoors activity, but also a genuinely traditional way to develop hard sea tales. I remember one such story:
It was soon after receiving my first rating at the yacht club that I decided to take my girlfriend at the time for a relaxing sail. I coaxed her up with lavish high-speed, boat heeling, sails flapping (of course only during a tack) tales of being on the water. Although slightly hesitant, she nevertheless desired the romance of my rumors.
“I’ll go, but we wont flip will we?” she asked with a worried look in her eyes. Despite the crisp blue skies, it was still early spring.
“A very slight possibility, but I assure you I got this,” I told her. Now, being a rather selfish fellow I did not give her my wetsuit and instead gave her some of my other gear for keeping…well, sort of dry.
Down to the docks, jib hoisted, bailers up, life-vests tightened, and finally up with the main. I look at my girlfriend all puffy from my waterproof clothing meant for mountaineering and the scared look in her eyes as we push off. The winds are strong. Right away we fall into a close haul coming around the outer dock. A gust blows in and I try to let out the sails, but something’s wrong. Some idiot left a fat knot in the mainsheet right before the cleat, and another idiot forgot to check the mainsheet before shoving off. Stuck in a close haul with a monstrous gust heeling the boat flat, I didn’t have time to turn up before water starts pouring in, so over we went. With a giant slash and an AHHH ending with swallowing water my girlfriend hits the water. Soon after water hits my face with its biting cold fangs and my wetsuit took the rest of the punch, but my girlfriend…she was cold to say the least. She clung to the boat like a wet cat and glared at me under her matted hair with the most venomous look I’d ever seen.
“The waters not bad, huh?” I tried to say. She didn’t give me a response. A whaler pulled up and the driver helped her out of the water, a difficult task due to her now very heavy clothing. They drove back to the WAC leaving me to right the boat alone. It was a while before I got her out again.
-David Blaszka, Summer 2012