Monday, April 13, 2015

Sailaway Sunday

We became teachers this weekend! We introduced ourselves to a couple who recently purchased and moved aboard their 37ft sailboat just two weeks ago. We were told they'd had no prior sailing experience so we thought "Hey, we know a thing or two about sailing. We could offer some advice, know-how and could help someone else!" We've been hoping for an opportunity to pay it forward as we've been given the same pay-it-forward treatment from many other gracious sailors and locals.

Sailaway Sunday is a weekly event that is open to boats in the harbor. You can choose to take your own boat out or crew on another participating sailing vessel. Last week we crewed on a monohull with 15 other sailboats. We figured this Sunday was just as good as any to sail away and throw a sailing lesson in there too. And so, we did!

The couple was more than eager to have some experienced sailors onboard so we began with some basic sailing terminology and walked through the boat, following halyards (lines that raise sails) and sheets (lines that control sails), practicing knots and walking through how we were going to head out from the harbor. It's always a good idea to have a plan in advance. This would be their first time out for a day sail! 

After warming up the motor we detached from the ball and let the owners steer the boat with Nate and I instructing from the sidelines. This was a anxious moment for the new owners, but once we started moving out the channel, jitters started to dissipate. 

It was a beautiful day of sailing with nearly 15 knots of wind and 1-2ft waves. We practiced tacking (sailing upwind), running (sailing downwind) and allowed them to get a feel for how their boat moves through the water. Throughout we talked about points of sail, feeling where the wind is coming from using your cheeks as a guide, finding a heading on the compass, but more importantly, watching the sails and adjust according to the wind. We sailed for about 2-3 hours, just enough to stretch the sails and build their confidence and sailing ability. Poor little puppy, Churchhill got seasick, but was on the mend when we returned to harbor. We made a successful run back to the mooring ball with high fives all around! We celebrated with an ice cold post-sail beer and you could feel their excitement (ours too!). 

The purpose of my post is to tell you how much fun it was to actually teach sailing. Sometimes you don't realize how much you actually know until you meet someone that knows less than you and you are able to offer knowledge - I surprised myself with how much I was able to share and explain simple sailing concepts with confidence. I was once a student who's head wobbled like a bobblehead doll absorbing instruction from a 2-day sailing class on Boulder Reservoir (many moons ago), from gentlemen racers on Lake Dillon and of course, from Nate. Yesterday, I became the teacher with my first student. Pretty great experience! Nate always tells me I'm more competent than I am confident. He's totally right, but in this case, I boosted my confidence two-fold by helping others learn to sail and walk away with a boost of empowerment. It's way more simpler to encourage other people, to realize their potential, to boost their confidence. Sometimes what we need to do is listen to our own inner voice that houses the same potential we encourage in others. I'm learning that about myself. That's a post for another day.

Didn't take many photos of the sail (because I was busy teaching!) but we rounded out the evening with a wonderful sunset bbq with the new sailboat owners and Barefoot Gal (creator of The Boat Galley!)

We continue to meet many wonderful people, enjoy meals and drinks with new friends, send well wishes to departing vessels, and welcome new boats with an offer to lend a hand or share harbor information. I taught my second yoga class today, this time in the pouring rain. Thankfully we were covered by the auditorium roof. You could barely hear my voice over the rain pounding on the roof. It was beautiful!

Tonight we're making homemade pizzas! I'm starving.

Love to All,
Nate & Jenn


  1. Sounds like a beautiful time with new friends...good for you guys!! Today it is 80 that is what the car temp showed and Weds. they are calling for rain/snow mix - guess that is CO!! Much love, mama

  2. I love teaching as well. Congrats :)

  3. Hi guys!....I had a bit of catching up to read...I am still amazed by your adventure, and the beauty of your writing!!
    Your pictures are such a welcome addition!! so enjoying "spring" in the Rockies, until the hiccup in the weather tomorrow thru Fri. Oh well....about 30 more"sleeps" till my next sailing adventure!! lol... It will be my 5th one!!!!
    Much love....Aunt Bev

  4. We were those lucky people whom jen and Nate were so kind to take on and teach. Let me tell you their natural ability as teachers was off the chart amazing. Anyone can learn and become knowledgeable but the ability to pass that on in a manner that is understandable and absorbable to a neophyte is a rare and marvelous gift. We will always be grateful and look forward to the day our ability and knowledge match our desire to pay forward the kindness we have received. Thank you jen and Nate for all your help.