Most days on our bay are pretty much perfect. Enough wind, flat seas, beautiful sunshine, and warm water. But what are the things you want to think about when the wind comes up?
Among the million or so nautical sayings there is one that goes: There are old sailors and bold sailors, but there are no old, bold sailors. That's one we can really get behind. At CRSC you'll learn how to sail, but you'll also learn to respect the elements, and be confident when the wind pipes up.
The first thing to think about is safety. Always. Safety first. Do you have your life jacket on? Do people know you're out sailing? Do you have a radio on board? (All our boats have radios so you can communicate with the CRSC world headquarters - aka the Boat Shack).
Next, think about the amount of sail you have up. This is critical. Having the right amount of sail up can make a super windy day the perfect sailing day. Having too much sail will stress out your muscles, your relationships, and your equipment. Our sailing classes will teach you the best ways to reef, and how to tell when it's time.
Another or those famous nautical sayings is (I'm paraphrasing here) If you think it might be time for a reef, it's time for a reef. We'll help you recognize the signs. If the wind doesn't continue to build, it's always easier to shake out a reef than to put one in while you're already being tossed around.
If you're not familiar with the term, "putting in a reef" means reducing the size of your sail so it's safer and easier to handle. (Wikipedia link here).
As the wind comes up, you may need to reposition your passengers or yourself to help keep the boat from heeling too much. Heeling is normal for most sailboats. By moving the weight of you and your crew toward the upwind center of the boat, you may be able to keep the boat moving forward while reducing the over-heeling of a boat in higher winds.
Being comfortable sailing in higher winds is a matter of experience. Once you see how much more control you have after reducing sail, you'll be surprised how much wind you can comfortably handle. Then you'll feel like a windy day is a happy day too.