The urge to stay in bed was eventually defeated, and I learned how to sail yesterday morning. Good thing I didn't snooze that extra five minutes, though, because I'm pretty sure I got one of the last two or three spots in the Sunday morning program.
It was great. The MIT pavilion is run by a motley group of volunteers -- an older woman, an anal-retentive guy with a bent baseball hat, a man from the Caribbean who looked exactly like the guy in "The Life Aquatic" who plays calypso versions of David Bowie songs, a Brazilian guy who liked to sass the newcomers, and others. After the briefest of classroom introductions, they show us how to rig the dinghy and sent us out into the Charles. "Don't worry too much if you capsize," we were told. Apparently it happens to a lot of people.
I did not capsize. It would have been difficult, considering we had barely enough breeze to propel the ships. Once a gust arose during our turn about and I leaped across to balance the boat, but that was about it. This day the gravest danger came from steering around the fleet of other beginners.
Everyone has these dreams of something they know little about but seems on the surface romantic and free. Sailing filled this niche for me. Perhaps it was all those high school and college landlocked years after tastes of living near the sea. I've always wanted to sail, and now that somebody's taught me the basics for free, I can feel it around the corner -- being competent enough to sail alone and not be bothered by anything except keeping the ship on course. Also, I feel that any true New England man ought to be able on some level, so if I stay up here I'm already on my way. I'm already watching the Sox.
I need to practice my knots. This was a weak spot in Cub Scouts.