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Sunday, February 24, 2019

Feb 24, 2019-Women Who Sail on Wings, The Fitness Center.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Going Sailing

The first tack was hilarious!

We had ten women aboard who had never been on a sailboat and they were all lounging around on the port side deck. I got everyone’s attention and then explained to them that when Judy yelled, “Tacking” they all had to move to the other side of the boat.

“Through here” I said, motioning under the boom. There didn’t seem to be any questioning looks so I nodded to Judy.

“Ready About?” she shouted.

“Ready,” answered Kelly and I, manning the winches.

“Tacking!” and she turned the boat.

That’s when it got real for the 10 passengers. Suddenly they realized that the sails were flapping, the winches were spinning, the boat was turning, and the side deck they were on was tipping way over towards the ocean. Like the flock of startled pigeons, they shrieked and flew through under the boom to the other side, laughing, scrambling, and giggling the whole way.

“Well done,” I said, “now next time who wants to help work the boat instead of just being along for the ride.” A few doubtful glances to each other than about 4 hands went up. And we started training.

I don’t know where the idea came from that we should take Norma and the women who run our gym out sailing on Wings but it just occurred to me one day and I mentioned it to Judy.

“That would be fun” she said so the next day I presented Norma with an invitation for a day on the water. I said it was for the whole crowd; Norma, her co-workers, her sisters, and their families, all of whom we know from seeing them at the gym three days a week. Norma quickly accepted but I have to say I don’t think she knew what she was getting into. It would be their first time on a sailboat.

That is how it came to be a week later that 10 gorgeous and excited women trouped down the dock and climbed aboard Wings for what they expected would a fun day lounging around on Wings’ decks in the sunshine with cold beverages in their hands and munching snacks and plates of ceviche (which they brought). Little did they know.

But Wings is not really a pleasure cruiser and anyhow, Judy and I had in mind a different type of sail, the kind we typically do when we have a boat full of guests: full sails, lots of tacking, spinnaker flying, and plenty of action. We brought Kelly and Deborah to help out.

After that first tack our new crew started to pay more attention. Kelly and I assigned jobs, Deborah translated, and we got everyone into their positions and we had some fun. Up the Punta Mita shoreline we tacked and then we turned down wind. Kelly said, “We need to put up the spinnaker!”

“OK, I’m game,” and up it went and down came the jib with some new forward hands pulling it in.

I showed Ana how to trim the spinnaker and I put myself on the winch to grind it. She soon got into the swing of things, letting it out until it folded and then yelling, “Frederico!” at me to grind. Boy, they all thought that was hilarious too.

We even jibed the spinnaker and that went smoothly too. Norma was interested in everything and did everything as you would expect of a woman who drives a Jeep, rides a Harley, drinks whiskey, and owns a gym. Ana, too, was everywhere. Alize and Adela pitched in, Ariadna and Carolina steered. I think I’ll keep this bunch. We handed out beverages. Well, some of the teenagers, I guess like a lot of teenagers, got bored. Never mind, we all had fun.

wingssail images-deborah webster
Five on the foredeck

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Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huancaxtle

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