I spent last weekend sailing FJs at Cascade Locks–on the Columbia between Oregon and Washington. I have not sailed small boats (FJs are racing dignys around 14ft long) and forgot how a) fun it is b) scary it is in wind and c) how painful it is. The last one was exxagerated a lot by 5 years of losing my sailing coordination.
I raced on my university’s sailing team for three years of college: sophomore-senior years. It was fun and sometimes at least 5 out of 7 days a week were spent in a boat and other days were spent either working or traveling or scrambling to get homework done. One of the issues regarding small boats is that there are cleats and pulleys everywhere. Part of your job as crew (as opposed to skipper) is to keep the boat perfectly balanced and roll the boat over really hard (centerboards, like a moveable keel, are like airplane wings so when they push down against water it creates lift which translates to forward momentum), during tacks and jibes (when the sails switch sides). Slamming yourself into cleats and pulleys means bruises–adding lack of coordination and 5 pent up years of enthusiasm means LOTS OF BRUISES.
But bruises are totally worth the reunion. Its not just that sailing is fun but these were the people I spent most of college with. We practiced, raced, and traveled together constantly for three years. We have a ton of memories, it was great reliving those: the time one guy puked in the van during a 15 hour van ride, another person sleep walking across Harvard campus in the snow after a hard day sailing, making Bailey’s icecream at a huge camping regatta, hiding huge dildos in various bags on various trips, yuka, team pranks, trying to keep calm and trusting in huge wind and freezing rain for 8 hours, winning almost every sailing party we attended. Also, I am not a competitive person when it comes to most sports, but feeling that sense of competition last weekend was really good.