Thursday, 14 June 2018

Laser: in at the deep end

Phone call from my daughter Sunday evening: "What are you doing Monday or Tuesday? Do you wanna go sailing?"

Tuesday evenings are karate, so sacrosanct in all except extreme circumstances. Monday evenings are band practice however, and we all routinely skip out of that.

Tasha's a busy girl, works hard, moved out of home a couple of years ago and now lives on the other side of town, so I don't get to see enough of her these days. When I first came back to sailing, some fifteen years ago or so, and brought the boys with me, Tash was at an age where she was more interested in boys, parties and going out with her friends of an evening, rather than hanging out with her dad and two little brothers.

She's been out on the lake with me a couple of times before when I had the Enterprise, sat in the front and pulled on the jib sheets when told, and shown no inclination towards taking the helm. She's come out with Dad and I on Calstar a couple of times, mostly to sunbathe on the fore-deck as we drifted along. In this respect,she takes the same approach to sailing as her mum.

I picked her up Monday evening after work and we headed down to the lake. I'd explained we didn't have the Enterprise any more and that the new dinghy was a single-hander, and so a little bit smaller.

"How are we both going to fit in that?" was her first question when she finally saw it.

She sat on one side, I sat on the other. The conditions were benign, and once she'd settled into the slightly more tippy movement and relative lightness of the boat and we'd tacked from reach to reach across the lake a few times, passing the helm from one side to the other, I handed her the tiller and the mainsheet.

"Hold that, and that," I said, shimmying around the mast to sit on the fore-deck, leaving her alone in the cockpit. "Right, now if we capsize, it's entirely your fault!"

So that was Tasha's first time at the helm. She did fine, we stayed dry. The little Laser did a wonderful job of looking after her, and I think, once she got over the initial terror of being thrown into the deep end and left solely in control, she had a wonderful time.

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