"Military service led to sailing"
My brother bought a Herreshoff 18 (19?) and took me out a few times before I joined the US Navy. I was hooked.
On leave one summer, we rented 2 Laser/Sunfish thingies and I took the helm of one. I did poorly. There was talk of a collision at sea, but I want to assure you all we were still in the harbor. Stupid power boat thought she was safe in the covered boat house... I showed them all!
By the end of the day, I did know how to sail!
Back at my duty station (Pearl Harbor, HI *yawn!*
) I took lessons so I could rent boats. I qualified for the O'Day Widgeon 13 and then more lessons to get onto the Rhodes 19 keelboats (yowza! what difference!).
I could rent an R-19 for $3 an hour and the place was on my way home! I had to stay in Pearl Harbor though. For $5/hr I could rent a newer R-19 at the Air Force base and go out on the ocean. That was a good deal.
I have dumped my poor wife into the water more times than I can count (I'll bet she could).