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Don’t worry, my mom isn’t on another trip. She expresses regret that she can’t regale you with tales from the Upper Peninsula this evening. Unfortunately, her computer–both of her computers–are rebelling against her blog. She kindly asked me to pass along a message to her dear readers. She promises she’s been outside today–cross her heart. She’s been outside on a wild mushroom hunt and will hopefully be able to share all the photos and exciting stories with you tomorrow.

That’s it. That’s all she wanted to tell you. But I can’t post a blog with less than 100 words can I? (By the way, this is Kiah, Kathy’s daughter.)  I didn’t have much of an outdoor adventure today myself (although it’s plausible to say that every day you leave your apartment in Manhattan is an adventure) but I did have an amazing outdoor adventure last week that I’d love to share.

Offshore Sailing School

I participated in a three day sailing course with Offshore Sailing School. I took the course with two men in their 30s and our instructor. We sailed off Chelsea Piers (midtown Manhattan) in the Hudson on a 26′ sloop-rigged keelboat. The weather was gorgeous each day; 70s to 80s and sunny. Each morning we met at 9 AM, participated in 2 hours of classroom sailing theory filled with powerpoints, boat models, charts, lectures, discussion and pop quizzes. Around 11 we hurried down to the boats to get a few hours in before lunch. Normally the wind was light in the morning and we tested the limits of crew weight distribution in order to heel the boat.

After lunch break, we were back on the water until 530 or 6. The wind generally picked up in the afternoon and we had a few good hours of sailing. We tacked and jibed, we reached and ran, the main was reefed, the jib eased. We learned the practical application of airflow and the rules of the waterway (only once the hard way, when we tacked into the course of an NYPD powerboat on official business).

The Hudson is a fascinating river with tugboats, ferries, cruise liners, tourist boats, NYPD, fireboats, private boats, kayaks, and windsurfers doing their best to avoid and (I’m optimistic) respect each other. We sailed by the crumbling pier that was to have hosted the Titanic once upon a time. We sailed by a volunteer-run boat building school. We sailed by Times Square and down to the Financial District. We sailed by a mooring that charges $75 per minute to dock.

Downtown Manhattan

On the last day we took an 80-question test by the U.S. Sailing Association for our Basic Keelboat Certification. We all passed and are certified to captain a daysailing boat up to 28′. I’m hoping to gain some more practical experience for the rest of the season by joining a sailing club in Jersey.

On the Hudson

It’s been lovely spending the evening with you. Let me know if anyone needs crew for a grand sailing adventure. See you on the seas!

Peace & love, Kiah

P.S. Happy birthday Grandpa!


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