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Essential Sailing. A Beginner's Guide
Author: Marshall R.
Publisher: Lyons Press
Quality: Scanned pages
Pages count: 201
Description: Many years ago I was standing on a dock getting ready to go on an ocean race. Another sailboat was moored near our stern, and the skipper was looking rather anxious. He asked me if I knew anybody who could replace him on the crew for the race. I suggested he call Keith Ludlow, a college friend of mine. Keith had learned to sail in a campus program and had no offshore racing experience, but he had been my crew while sailing dinghies. At the time Keith was a newcomer to the sport of sailing. Yet from that first offshore race, Keith went on to become the rating coordinator for the Royal Ocean Racing Club in England. He traveled worldwide as a respected member of the Offshore Racing Council and sailed on many boats throughout the British Isles.
Sailing took Keith around the world, just as it has for me. I have sailed in every ocean except the Arctic, as well as in the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea, the English Channel, and the Irish Sea; in San Francisco Bay, in Perth, Australia, and in the lake above the Nairobi Dam in Kenya. One recent trip was a transatlantic crossing from New York to Falmouth, England, aboard a hundred-foot sloop. You too can travel to many places, whether it is across the Chesapeake Bay, a short cruise to the San Juan Islands, or around the world to visit foreign lands. A sailboat can take you there using the most natural force in the world — the wind.
But traveling is only part of the mystique of sailing. There's also the camaraderie. A boat can be a microcosm of the world.
Sailors tend to be interesting people because they've often sailed to exotic places. They've sampled new cuisines, and seem to have a lively interest in learning more about their environment and the places they visit. Sharing a boat, I believe, gives you a better chance to get to know people than any other sport offers. This is part of what makes sailing such a voyage of discovery.
The first step on this journey is learning to sail. And learning to sail takes commitment: You won't master it in one day or even one week. You might figure out how to handle a boat and operate its sails in a one- or two-week sailing program, but that is only a beginning. You'll find that you'll learn more about sailing every time you go out in a boat. I still discover something new every time I sail, and I have been doing it for more than forty years. Learning is one of the greatest rewards of sailing: finding out more about the sport, yourself, and the people and places around you.
This book is a start along the sailing journey. You will learn how to handle a boat, how to interpret the wind and tide, what to look for when you buy a boat of your own, and how to navigate a safe passage in that boat. Of course, the information here is fairly brief; it is merely intended to get you started. The complete manual of sailing would be an enormous book — if it could be written at all.