Friday, August 20, 2010

One Semester of Sailing

My short stint of sailing for TAMUG was awesome. That was my first time to sail ever, so they taught me everything. We raced 420's, a two-person boat. I have never worked so hard on anything in my life. Those boats beat the crap out of me and I loved it. We practiced several times a week, but I only sailed in two regatta's. One in Austin, Texas, the other in Pensacola, Florida.

The one in Florida was something to remember. I always sailed with a girl name Jill. We made a good team. Only problem was two girls didn't add much weight to the boat. That was good when you were sailing in good weather. Bad when you were sailing in windy weather. There was nothing to keep the boat down.

That's the problem we had in Pensacola. It was raining really hard and the wind was all over the place. The race started and we were keeping up with the group. But halfway through the race, University of West Florida called the regatta due to inclement weather. HA. Time to bring the boat back to the yacht club. On our way back, the boats got scattered, as everyone took their own route.

Figures that this is when our boat decides to blow over. We both did exactly what we were supposed to and jumped over the side of the boat opposite of the direction it fell. The center board is only big enough for one person to land on and Jill got to it before I did. I just hung on to the side of the boat in hopes that our combined weight would be enough to fight the cold, choppy water that was threatening to eat our sail.

It felt like minutes, but was probably only seconds, before our boat righted itself. Jill had let out the sail, so there was no impending danger of flipping again immediately. I wasn't thinking about the fact that the bottom of my dungarees were velcroed shut against my ankles, so when Jill offered an arm to pull me back in the boat we both struggled severely. As soon as both feet were in the boat, I realized my mistake and opened the bottom of my pants. The water poured out and added to the puddle in the bottom of our boat. I took a moment to bail water while Jill did her best to keep the boat in control.

Once that was done, we fought our way back into dock. We did great. Even though we didn't get to finish the race, I felt confident in our ability to maneuver our 420. We and the other boat from A&M, along with a couple people from the University of South Alabama celebrated at an Irish Pub for dinner.

That was by far, one of the most liberating experience of my college years. We made the road trip there and back, found food and fought the sea. Doesn't get much better than that when you're in school.

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