Thursday, May 3, 2012
First proper sail for the season. Today was our shakedown sail, and apparently the first time the boat has gone into her sailing season without a need for serious repairs since our captain has sailed with her. We worked hard and were congratulated for it, which was nice. We got her out into the lake and got her dressed up nice, setting all the canvas we have on board just to look for any weird kinks that needed to be sorted out. I was sent up to the main t'gallant to free up some trapped stuff half way through setting it, and we definitely had a couple other small things go awry, but at the end of the day, we did a good job. Having a crew who has mostly done this before has been a huge benefit to us, and the officers say this has been one of the least stressful uprigs they've ever experienced. So on Tuesday we have our Coast Guard inspection, and on Wednesday our first set of trainees arrive. The season is really getting started now. I, for one, am really excited for the new students to get here. Trainees offer a unique experience of getting to take someone far away from the reality they understand and push them into something they've never quite experienced before. If I may wax philosophical for a bit here, which I can (it is my blog, after all) I think there is a value in having your reality shaken up from time to time; We do that as well as anyone, far as I can tell. So you get to see people pushed to their limits; people being overwhelmed. You get to watch people struggle and with a little guidance and support, overcome it. Even more, you get to watch them realize that they can overcome it. And for me, it's an opportunity to study myself a little better, and better to learn how to teach and train. How to better communicate and build a team. These are skills that are never bad to have and practice. As the mate said last night, we all have been working very hard and we sometimes forget why. We sometimes forget that she is a sailboat, and we're here to sail. Today, as the engines were cut and we got to feel her start to dance with the wind for the first time of the year, we all remembered. The next step is getting other people to see that, to feel it... and just maybe feel the way we do about it. Here's to a good season with a good crew on a good boat. Time to get started.