So I went sailing today with my wife. Today was the first time I’d ever been sailing and it was amazingly cool.
I woke up this morning planning on making the 1-2 hour trek south to Fort Lauderdale with the kids so they could see the air show. I wouldn’t sail down, because I have no idea how to sail but I do have a motor…
While I had my wife hoisted up the mast to change the bulbs, this dude comes paddle-boarding up and says, “you want a hand with the winch?”
I’m like, uh, “you calling my wife a wench?”
Then I figure, “yes! That’d be awesome!” — The winch, not the wench.
He paddled up behind my boat and put his board under my dock. I’m holding my wife about 3/4 the way to the top but this guy boards the boat and steals all the glory by hoisting her up the rest of the way.
“Sure,” I think, “I do all the hard work and this guy gets all the gratitude.” I tell him, “I’m Chad, my wife, up there,” and I gestured to the top of the mast, “That’s Toni.”
“Ben,” he responds. He then asks me, “How long have you had the boat?”
“Oh, two or three weeks.”
“I see. Great looking boat! You have sailing experience?” He asks.
I’m thinking, “Oh yeah, I’ve done the ARC three times solo and I regularly circumnavigate,” but I said, “I have no fucking clue what I’m doing, why? Do you sail?” I asked hopefully.
Turns out, honesty was the way to go because Ben, says, “That’s my trimaran over there.” He gestured off to a sailboat I’d been salivating over for a couple of weeks.
The next few exchanges are a little hazy in my memory because I could already feel the rush of true love coursing through my veins. Well, not love but I had a really good feeling about this guy. I asked or he offered, I think I asked, “I don’t suppose you’d like to go out and show us the ropes would you?” He didn’t even flinch at the horrible pun.
Ben said, “When are you thinking of going out?”
I look up at my wife, at the top of the mast and tell him, “as soon as she gets down!”
After all was said and done, he offered to take us out for a couple hours just after lunch. We got out onto the water and Ben told me to put her into the wind.
Oh… yeah, I know what that’s all about! I sent my wife forward to watch and learn from Ben as he hoisted the mainsail.
He bent down into the cockpit and told me, “ok, ease off the engine… actually, shut her down. That’s what we have sails for!”
So I reached over and pressed the black button that turns off my engines. Silence. I look at the GPS and it’s reading 2.7 knots. A smile appears or remains on my face as I realize I’m sailing.
Ben smiles and says, “hey, let’s the do the jib!”
I’m really liking this guy’s attitude! Hell yes, let’s do the jib! Let’s do ALL THE THINGS!
We did the mainsail, jib, close-hauled, beam reach and even a little running with gull wings or sail-to-sail or whatever it’s called when you’re a bad-ass.
First time sailing! Piece of cake.