A guest post from the youngest member of the No Kids, Will Travel family — and we literally mean family — Andrea Changuris.
I’m sitting around at the beginning of summer talking with my boyfriend, Matt, about our plans. We rattle off the standard wishes for summer. Let’s go on the river, let’s try for the beach, maybe we can do a day trip somewhere. Then he brings up sailing. Wait, sailing? Do either of us know how to sail? He mentions the times he has been out with his family. I remember the one time I went on the Charles River with a friend. Sure, maybe we’ll go sailing this summer.
A few weeks later, he asks if I have off on Memorial Day weekend. No, but I could probably get off on Sunday, why? He says, “I’m renting a sailboat for the day”.
Sure enough, for $250 you can go sailing for an entire day with the Annapolis Sailing School. Now, the Rainbow 24 that we took out did not have a motor, if it had a motor you would need to be in possession of a boating license which costs $30. We invited our friend, who unlike either of us, actually took sailing classes. Although I never cease to be amazed at what Matt learns by reading a book or watching an online tutorial.
The 3 of us — armed with our PFDs (life jackets) which are required to have in your boat — sunscreen, music, snacks and paddles (just in case), drove up to the dock. After a quick check-in they pointed out a boat, told us where the sails were stowed and to have fun. This is where I sit and read the safety checklist out loud and watch as the two boys go about assembling our boat so we are ready to ship out.
Then, off we go! We are able to smoothly get out from the dock and then out of the harbor, leaving the view of the Naval Academy behind us. A few practice maneuvers and sure enough we start working together to catch the wind, make our turns and set a course. Our goal became the Bay Bridge. We spent the next four hours or so listening to music and talking. I got to wave to others out on the bay, sunbathe and Matt even jumped in the water at one point. I even learned how to tie a few knots.
It was a day with little wind and a couple of anxious moments where I thought we would be paddling our way back to the dock, but we made it to the to the Bay Bridge and back. What a gorgeous way to spend our day off. It was $250 well spent. I recommend this excursion to anyone with basic knowledge of how to sail. I was lucky enough to learn from two capable sailors on my trip. You do not need to be an expert, but you do need to know how to operate the boat.
If you don’t know how to sail and still want a day on the water, the school offers lessons and there are charters that sail out of Annapolis and its surrounding ports.