Ever sit down and think about activities you love but haven't done in years? Since graduating college and getting a 9-5 my aspirations for getting back into sailing (an activity that makes me giddy like a sixth grader) has turned into a far off dream. It wasn't until I wrote down activities for my "must list" that I challenged myself to get back into sailing and sign up for a Shields course. The first day of class was a little daunting since its been years since I sailed but eventually it all came back. I can't think of any other activity that makes you feel like King Triton (literally). The sun on your face, your hands feeling like they're gonna rip off as you hold tight to the lines in a tug of war with the wind, and hiking your body weight to the outside of the boat as it Keels(tip). To beginners the feeling of your boat tipping to one side is horrifying-to me, THRILLING. That's when the real fun begins as you jump on the edge of the boat to lean out as far as you can in hopes to even out without giving any slack to the main sheet. Is there anything more empowering and exciting than this? The only challenging part of sailing a Shields to me, is docking. I've never sailed anything higher than a 22 so a 30 was a little nerve racking. To give you an idea of the overall process here's the order. 1st put your boat into irons(making the boat completely useless) in the middle of the channel (As you're doing this dozen of boats are driving by and staring at you wondering what in the dickens you're trying to achieve). 2ND take down your main sheet(main sail). 3rd the 1st mate wraps the main sheet in a burrito and releases the helm lines as the captain holds the tiller. 3rd let the wind catch your jib and sail towards the slip. 4Th when your two boats away from the dock take down the jibe. 5Th lead boat into slip(No Sails). It sounds fairly easy when in actuality its complete chaos-to say the least you feel completely helpless. I'm hoping that with practice docking will eventually feel like second nature. This upcoming Saturday we're taking the boats into the ocean for some real fun! SWEET!! There's nothing like white caps crashing in your boat as you get blown to smithers by the wind and soaked with salt water. I love it! Thank goodness there's no such thing as calm in the ocean. Saturday can't come soon enough!