Today, my friends, I sailed.

I hoisted the mainsail and jib, tacked, jybed, and felt the sweet, cool water of achievement splash on my face.

My first water lab was this afternoon and it went a little something like this…

12:35: Arrive at marina incredibly early and talk with cigarette smoking, Hostess cupcake eating Bob who has me sign in and fill out a name tag (“Whatever you want to be called. Just keep it clean.”)

12:50 Fellow “sailors” arrive, all of whom have sailed before (“My parents have a sailboat.” “My dad’s boat is docked in Florida.” “I’m very, very rich.”)

1:00 Walk to a 25-foot Capri with two undergrads, both girls, and Obie, our Mark Twain-reading-on-his-Kindle instructor (“I’ve read Tom Sawyer, Innocents Abroad, and a bunch of short stuff and am only 30% through his complete works. That Twain had a lot to say.”)

1:45 End detailed lecture from Obie on boat safety, hanks, cleats, sails, tillers, and figure eight knots (I tie a killer figure eight knot)

2:00 Out to water. I raise the jib while Emily mans the tiller and Jenna tails the line. Obie watches while we practice maneuvering around some depth markers (“Get ‘er close enough to that marker for Emily to touch it. Don’t matter if you hit it.”)

3:00 Very much getting acclimated to the boat and all of us taking turns practicing basic turns and lingo. (“Ready to tack.” “Ready!” “Helm’s a lee!”)

3:45 Sailed much around the lake and ready to drop the sails for docking. (“Hop up on the bow and let those halyard lines free.”)

4:00 Make it to the dock, fold the jib and mailsail, and escort very nervous-about-directions undergrad back from the lake. (“Do you know how to get back? I have GPS, but…”)

11:00pm Celebrate with an inexpensive Cabernet and Mamma Mia (“You can dance! / You can ji-ive! / Having the time of your life / OOOOOhhhh! / See that girl! / Watch that scene / Digg’in, the dancing queen!”)

Life’s little victories, am I right?

~Arrivederci

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