Sailing in the San Juans -- Winterim 2011

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Wind and sun make for a big adventure

As the bus approaches the dock, the rows of what look like tiny plastic sailboats come into clear view, and we get our first glimpse of the Puget Sound. The sun is setting on Sunday, March 14th as we pull our bags off the bus, and assemble into two boat teams: the Double Eagle and The Brothers. These will be our teams for the rest of the week, and we quickly stow gear and grab a slice at a gourmet pizzeria in Anacortes before tucking in for an early bedtime. The next morning we are up at sunrise, untying our dock-lines and puttering out into the open sea. With a gust of wind, we hoist sails, and at the Captain’s orders, we are ready to “tack” and “jive” as we weave our way through the San Juan Islands. When we are not too busy sailing, we are becoming skilled chefs and dishwashers in the tiny cabin kitchen, and perfecting our card playing skills and yoga poses on deck. The weather remains marvelous throughout the week, with peek-a-boo sunshine and warm, swift showers that leave the air smelling fresh and sweet. Each night, we find a new place to anchor. We play ultimate Frisbee on soft sandy beaches, and take a walk to a lighthouse where the view leaves us breathless. As the sun sets, we gather around a campfire, and the trip leaders surprise us with fireworks (until we are kicked out by the rangers… no fireworks, and no fires! Didn’t we read the signs? …Nope!) A friendly boat rivalry exists, and members of the Double Eagle prank The Brothers by changing the name on their boat to “The Others” … only to discover that The Brothers were one step ahead, greeting their peers with buckets of cold water. The Zodiac from Double Eagle engages in a wild dinghy race with The Brothers' dinghy, and a dingy overturns, leaving three unlucky and wet sailors.  Overall, a fantastic week, and an experience none of us will forget.