SailNet Community - View Single Post - Who taught themselves how to sail?
View Single Post
post #19 of Old 08-06-2010
Old as Dirt!
svHyLyte's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
Posts: 3,193
Thanks: 20
Thanked 154 Times in 146 Posts
Rep Power: 9
As a child we had an old row-boat with pinned oars (so we wouldn't loose them over the side) that we'd row around the end of the lake near my grandmother's house (the water there was all of 2' deep so if you fell overboard you just got up an walked). When I was 8, one of my pals and I decided to make a sailboat with a bed sheet and a couple of the bamboo poles that my grandmother used to prop up the clothes-line when she was drying wash. One pole became the Yard and one the mast, lashed together with....clothes-line!--using the best knots we'd learned at Cub Scouts. Two corners of the sheet were lashed to the Yard and the other two were tied to lines for sheets. We proped the mast up with...clothes-line! A fore-stay, back-stay and two shrouds. So fitted out, we launched ourselves off the dock and unfurled our "sail" with a hand painted "pirate flag" made from a pillow case flying from the mast head and using an oar in the sculling oar-lock (on the transom) as a rudder.

It worked great...As long as we went down wind. Of course, we were promptly blown the length of the lake and landed in the bramble bushes at the edge of the mud-flat at that point. The pain we suffered getting un-stuck (we "struck" our sail) and then rowing a mile back up wind--one kid per oar--was nothing compared to the thrashing we got when we finally got back and discovered the Sheriff's had been called out to help find us. But we did sail!

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
svHyLyte is offline  
Quote Share with Facebook
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome