Thursday, August 18, 2005


It was the last day of sailing classes today for the younger beginners class. These are kids mainly 7 or 8 years old who are learning to sail in Optimists. We started them off with two kids in the boat but by the end of the summer they were all sailing solo.

Kids of that age are so cute and vulnerable, so full of personality and individual quirks. I think that as they get older they become socialized to behave in more of a standard way that their peers, parents and teachers expect of them. But at that age they seem to have little self consciousness and act in an uninhibited and natural way that is entirely charming.

As it was the last lesson I asked them what they thought of sailing. I said that sailing to me was so many things -- exciting, challenging, rewarding, sometimes scary, sometimes wet and cold, but if I had to choose one word I would say, "Sailing is Fun." So I asked them to tell me what word they would use to finish the sentence, "Sailing is......"

One of my little chaps, let's call him Mac has a broad accent that is sometimes difficult to understand. It sounds a bit Irish but neither his brother or mother has that accent. He also pronounces his R's as W's so he often asks me to help him remove his "wudder". He has an unruly mop of blonde hair and is losing some of his baby teeth. Too cute for words. He tries hard, gets on well with the other kids, and is just a joy to be around.

We went round the table and the kids gave me their answers. Sailing is....."easy", "fun", "capsizing" ... and so on. Mac was last. His eyes brightened, he flashed that toothy grin and in his Irish brogue said with an enthusiasm unique to a 7-year-old, "Sailing is Spectacular!"

Hey - I would do this job for nothing just to hear comments like that.

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