Saturday September 1st
written by Kim Mason
A sailing taster day that Hilary and I started planning back in October 2017 took place on Saturday 1st September 2018.
It was a beautiful day – the sun shone like a warm golden ball in a vivid blue sky. There was a gentle south-westerly breeze (2 – 3 on the Beaufort Scale). It was the perfect day for introducing first-time sailors to the water.
Our friends, the Mariners of Bewl (MoB) came out in force ready to share their boats, expertise, humour and love of sailing. We could not have achieved this day without them.
There were boats to suit a range of experience – a very solid looking Lugger, two Hansas and a Stratos.
Then there were the participants themselves. Wow! We met some wonderful people; brave adults who had decided to try sailing for the first time and were way out of their comfort zone.
Each participant was matched to a boat and I watched some nervously step into them, ably assisted by MoB volunteers and HDT trustees Martin and Clifford. Then they were off sailing, each participant (under MoB’s skilled supervision) taking a turn on the tiller, pulling lines (ropes) to control the sails or just enjoying moving across the water.
I stood on the pontoon listening to the sound of the waves lapping on the shore. It felt so peaceful with the breeze cooling my face. Hilary once showed me how sailors read the water in order to catch the wind. I looked at the water and the darker patches where the wind was and watched the boats move towards them and pick up speed.
I watched people who don’t move so quickly on the land suddenly moving swiftly across the water.
After an hour (and for some a little bit more) they were back. The transformation was amazing. All the participants were relaxed with BIG smiles and all of them told me how much fun they had. Words like “perfect”, “freedom”, “bliss”, “I felt free”, “my worries disappeared”, and “I want to do this again” filled the air.
Then, after lots of sailing and cake, the time came for our taster day to end, we waved goodbye to smiley faces and exchanged good wishes. It really had been a very special day for all of us.