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triathjohn 10-19-2011 04:19 PM

Semi-newbie just joined Sailnet
Hello sailors and wannabees.
I just joined Sailnet a couple of days ago. I did a little sailing when I was 15 years old. We lived on the West side of Buffalo, NY close to Lake Erie and the Niagara River. Don't remember how I heard about it but I joined the Sea Scouts for something to do. I was hanging around getting in minor trouble and just had no focus. I met a great group of guys in the Scout leaders and the scouts. We used to to meet weeky at a building at the foot of Porter Ave. on the waterfront, where we worked on a few wooden, mostly donated, boats during that first winter. The first part of each meeting was dedicated to teaching sailing and seamanship, knots, compass reading, points of sail, a little navigation, etc. In late spring when the ice was gone from the water we started to sail with the experienced scout leaders. I remember sailing on "Ferdinand" from Buffalo to Crystal Beach in Ontario, Canada. We left Buffalo at midnight and arrived around daybreak. I think there were 12 of us aboard. I few of the older guys were drinking beer! It was a flat bottomed wooden ship with a big keel attached. The water seemed very rough and dangerous to us neophites. She would bang down hard and shake when we went over the big waves.
We tied up against the old peer in Crystal Beach. We found a diner that opened early so we were able to have breakfast. When we got back to the ship we headed back to Buffalo.
A month later a Scout friend fell out of one of our canoes and drowned. The Sea Scout Troop fell apart and that was the end of my Sea Scout experience. That was about 45 years ago.
When I was 30 with a wife and 2 young boys we bought a Sunbird sailboat which we had for 2 years. My wife wasn't a sailor and I wasn't much of one, except in desire and love. She seldom went out and was deathly afraid to let our sons go out on the water. Work was scarce and I took a job on Long Island. I spent so much time commuting and missing my family in Buffalo that we sold the Sunbird.
Finally, in my sixties, a couple of marriages later, I am ready to buy another small boat. I have been a windsurfer over the years and rented the ocassional dinghy and Hobie on vacations through out the years.
I'm thinking of another Sunbird to start and maybe a small trailerable pocket cruiser in a couple of years. We like to visit the Finger Lakes, Chautauqua Lake, Lake Placid, thus the trailerable. In the meantime I will be convincing my landlubber wife to take sailing lessons and I will take them also if that will get her to do it.
Sailnet looks like a great group and I'm looking forward to some good discussions and advice.

TheCruisingKitty 10-20-2011 04:14 PM

Welcome to SN, triathjohn.

Are there any community or coop type boat clubs in your area? It's worth a quick internet search.

If you're near any size city with a waterfront, there is usually a community boat club. The club fees aren't too much, everyone becomes part owner in the club's boats with membership and there are usually adult sailing lessons available.

These tend to be small, friendly, social clubs with lots of BBQs and informal get togethers. If you really want your wife to learn to love sailing, this would be a good way to do it.

If she meets other women that love sailing, you will find she gets converted pretty quick.

Good luck!

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