Sailing is something that both Scott and I enjoy. Back in Ottawa, we spent several years racing sailboats. It is in part how we learned to communicate effectively early on in our relationship. It takes a lot to of communication to effectively race together!
Last summer, we decided to try out sailing with the America’s Cup boat in San Francisco (http://www.acsailingsf.com/). The boat – USA 76 – was raced in the 2003 America’s Cup and was used as a training boat for the 2007 America’s Cup before it was retired and turned into a passenger/tour boat. It is the newest of the America’s Cup tour boats, in part because the newer boats use fixed wing sails that need cranes to put up. They would never get Coast Guard approval to take passengers, as they are not safe for the untrained person.
After our first trip out with them, we decided to sign up for the one year crew membership. This means that we can go out sailing with them anytime there is room for us on the boat. One of the things that we liked was that we could sail, be as involved as we wanted, without having to be involved. In part this was because I did not know how physically able I would be throughout cancer treatment.
We were lucky enough to be out sailing on the day they took the picture on the cover page of their website: http://www.acsailingsf.com/. I’ve put a copy of the picture here in case they change it. Scott and I are standing at the closest to the mast (front) of USA 76. You can identify us by our white Tilley hats!
We went sailing this morning for the first time since October. The last bouts of chemo and then surgery meant that I wasn’t in any physical shape to go out on the boat. Today was the first time that I felt strong enough. I was able to take care of myself on the boat, but my experiment with grinding was a complete failure – I had to let go so that I didn’t hurt myself. My shoulders are still a bit sore from overuse as I spent some time with my arms hooked over the railing (in hindsight probably not the best idea).
At one point, one of the crew members went up the mast to check out how the sail was hoisted. The weather was perfect for it – we were on a long upwind leg that brought us almost all the way to the Golden Gate bridge and the water was pretty flat because the tide was flooding. He took a great photo – I’m the one second from the back of the boat with the white hat looking up. Scott is behind me with his head down getting his phone ready to take a photo. The mast is 11 stories high!
And this is the photo Scott took just after that:
Here is our requisite selfie with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background:
It was a fun morning sail. Because of the wind and tides, we got to sail a bit further out past the bridge, and also saw both sides of Alcatraz Island. Hopefully we’ll find the time to get out for a few more soon