As cheesy as it sounds, I think that taking sailing lessons as a child influenced me tremendously. Sure, the classes were probably the root of my filthy and foul mouth (it’s true what they say about sailors), but it also sparked a lifelong appreciation of the water.
Even though my parents had taken me on their boat since I was a baby, when I was in third grade, they enrolled me in official lessons. Six of my little friends joined me and the pack of us quickly became known as the “Seven Sinister Sisters of Satan” among the instructors. Summer after summer we’d capsize boats, have dead fish fights, kiss boys behind the canoe house, and have loads of loosely supervised fun while decked in life vests and soggy Keds.
As a teen, I was hired by the Club as a sailing instructor and spent June through August teaching impressionable youth how to get minimal tan lines while laying out in a bikini on a Boston Whaler. Every once in a while I’d give a lecture on how to tie a bowline or hop on a Flying Junior to show a 9-year-old how to work a tiller. Best. Job. Ever.
Surprisingly, I was hired back even after a midnight-sail involving a few cases of Milwaukee’s Best, some instructors, and one of the member’s 50′ yachts that left the vessel with a huge hole in the bow. The Junior Sailing advisory board also overlooked an incident in during which I forgot to tie up a committee boat that was found knocking around on the rocks miles down the shore from the club. They saw my potential as an eventually-responsible person and for that I thank them.
Finally, I can credit meeting my husband to Junior Sailing, so it’s for that I’m most grateful. Here’s how: my friend Julie and I took sailing. She got really really good (I, well, I grew capable). Julie went to the Naval Academy to sail for Navy. Julie met Grey (also a sailor, though not on the USNA team). Julie introduced me to Grey. The rest is history. Ta-Da! Thanks, EYC!