Last week the sailing club got officially funded by Quest’s student representative council to organize a trip down to Vancouver’s Yacht club for a sailing class. The weather was hot, sunny and perfect for the occasion. We started the class with a friendly introduction saying our names and where we came from. Soon enough we realized we had people from Canada, the US, Amsterdam, Scotland and El Salvador.
Afterwards, we got the chance to set up our own sailboats and learn the vocabulary for the equipment. The boats were small and designed for around 2-3 people. Everybody was mostly in pairs but my friend Hannah and I had never sailed before, so an experienced Quest Student Jocelyn hopped in with us to make sure we were comfortable.
When we were all ready, our instructor pulled us out in the ocean and then set us to sail away on our own. I thought a lot of instruction would take place before going into the water, but most of the learning took place while in action. While working together as a team we would try and communicate using the different terms that we had just learned. Language is important in sailing because when you communicate with the rest of the people on board they need to understand what you’re referring to.
The four terms we used the most were “to tack”, “to jibe”, “capsize” and “turtle”. There is a lot of vocabulary, but being the beginner that I am I can only recall those four. Tacking is when you maneuver to turn the bow into the wind, jibing is the opposite of tacking in the sense that during the tack the bow turns into the wind, while in jibing it’s the stern. Capsizing means your boat turns onto it’s side and turtling is when the boat turns completely upside down and your sail is submerged underwater.
After sailing for around two hours we decided that before we left we would intentionally capsize, as Hannah and I wanted to learn how to turn the boat back up. We fell into the water and enjoyed it’s coolness for a second before turning up the boat and climbing in. Even though it was short, it felt nice to be swimming in the ocean with the nice weather. I look forward to the next sailing trip and feel grateful for the opportunity of doing something new.