Last Sunday evening I did something that I had only dreamed about in the past.
I cruised on a sailboat and, for a brief few minutes, actually had the opportunity to steer. We were cruising on Schooner Woodwind II on the Chesapeake Bay, approaching the mouth of the Severn River near Annapolis Harbor. I had to use the dome of the State House as my point of reference for keeping the sails steady as she goes.
Under the easy wind conditions and light of remaining dusk, the schooner was not harder to steer than driving a car. It isn't like the tall ships of old, in that it does have a motor and it also has modern steering and components. For a few brief moments, however, I might have been sailing a fishing ship into that well-known harbor at the edge of the Chesapeake Bay.
I asked the Captain, Jen, a very gregarious lady to be sure, if a person had to grow up around sailboats to learn how to sail. "No!" said she. And she even gave me the name of a local sailing school and told me about an Annapolis-based sailing club where you share ownership in a sailboat so that you can take your turn cruising, even if you don't own your own ship. Wow!
I grew up near several large rivers, but in a very landlocked part of south-western Ohio and northern Kentucky. To be behind the wheel of a boat, any boat, is a dream come true. I always dreamed of sailing and sailboats. I think that's what lured me to Annapolis. But I was always too timid to ask people if I could go out on their boats. I supposed that I figured someday my chance would come. Well, thanks to my very generous husband who liked the idea of a Thai Dinner cruise on the Bay, I finally had my wish.
Sailing was even better than kayaking!!!! I just love being out on the water.
Here's a link to a photo of the Woodwind II's sails being raised at the mouth of the Annapolis Harbor. See how low the sun is in the sky?
Here's a link to a photo of our vessel returning to Annapolis Harbor at twilight behind the Harbor Queen. See the Church steeple in the background? That's St. Mary's Cathedral.