A Perfect Sail

Submitted by Sophia Comiskey from Tiverton, RI

I’ve grown up spending my summers at Herreshoff, and have made some of my greatest memories learning to sail as a student and more recently teaching as an instructor. One that has stuck in my mind for years is the first time I sailed a boat without an instructor. 

Like many, some of my first experiences sailing independently happened on a Hobie Wave. These catamarans were relatively small and easy to handle, so as more experienced sailors my friends and I were able to take one out. As 11 to 13 or so year-olds, the prospect of having complete control over a boat was so thrilling. We had the comfort of knowing help was there and watching if need be, but all the excitement of sailing a boat entirely ourselves. 

It was a hot, clear day, so the heavier afternoon wind and frequent splashes from the waves were perfect. It felt like we were flying across Narragansett Bay, free to sail where and as we wished. We were talking and laughing about everything, enjoying the perfect day and sense of total freedom. All of a sudden, we went over a large wave, and part of the leeward catamaran hull was submerged under water. Along with it went the person sitting there. After a long second, she resurfaced, completely drenched – but still laughing. Once we realized she was ok, we thought this was the funniest thing ever. I don’t think we stopped laughing all afternoon. 

We got back to the beach, all soaking wet but so happy. The feeling of contentment that came from knowing we successfully sailed a boat ourselves and had so much fun doing it is something I’ve never forgotten.

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