Getting hooked on sailing

When I was a kid, my folks bought a house at the Jersey shore, on Long Beach Island.  Since my Mom was a teacher with the summers off, it did not take long before we were spending the entire season on the island.  As you might imagine, it was a dream come true.

Making things even better, my Dad wanted to do some sailing, so we bought a Sunfish.  And, at the same time, my folks joined the nearby yacht club so I could take sailing lessons.  It did not take too long before I fell in with the other kids at the club and divided my time fairly evenly between sailing, surfing, and fishing.

I certainly enjoyed sailing itself at that time, but I loved the group of friends I had met through sailing and the camaraderie of being on a sailing team, sailing at interclub regattas on the island and a few regional race even more.

By the summer I was fourteen, I had started washing dishes, which put a little spending money in my pocket.  I had discovered girls, which tended to occupy my time and thoughts.  And my folks had also bought a Boston Whaler, which I recently gained access to.  With these distractions, not to mention the others of a teenager, my interest in sailing, particularly slow Sunfish sailing, waned.

Hanging out at the club one day with friends, one of the older gentlemen, an avid sailor and big supporter of junior sailing, asked us if we would be interested in trying out some Lasers.  It did not take us more than a second to jump.  It was a fairly light wind day, but I remember getting in the boat, sheeting in, and just rocketing across the basin as a puff hit.  Instantly, I was completely geeked about sailing again.  And, for that matter, I have been ever since.

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