Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Week Six

Week six, sadly our final week at Island Sail, is off to a brisk start. Monday the weather worked out and we got a full-day in without getting soaked. The morning registration and swim was warm and dry, but a shower blew threw at lunch. By 1:30 in the afternoon the sun was poking out and we had a nice first day of sailing for the afternoon crew. By 4:30 I was watching dark clouds and hearing thunder roll toward the island again.

We have a big group this week... 30 sailors in all. The morning session and afternoon have many new faces and a good mix of sailors with experience from previous weeks or years at Island Sail. Katie and John have returned to help out with instructional duties and Lil and Davis have been coming in the mornings to provide added support for the large group we have in the morning session.

Today it was very breezy in the morning - making the first day on the water for the morning session a challenge, but we got things going and once the group found a consistent path around the Figure 8 course I saw lots of smiles and sailors learning in the challenging winds. The afternoon was brisk, but the winds were not as strong. Both sessions enjoyed a day full of sun and smiles. Several of the boys in the afternoon class spent time with me fixing up the Opti sail rigs. We had made a few repairs along the way this season that did not hold out in the high winds during the morning. They were good helpers and we enjoyed the learning together. All of them de-rigged, rigged, and launched their Optis completely by themselves... asking each other for little bits of help as they went along. It was a good model of how empowerment plays an important role in learning (Karen pointed out that this should happen more often - as an educator I agree.)

On Thursday this week we will be sending out six of our sailors to North Haven for the Kent-Cove Cup. We have been spending extra time working with them on racing skills to prepare. The most important thing they can learn is to appreciate the opportunity and sail with integrity. We hope that they will challenge themselves to improve and feel like winners for giving their best effort - remembering that they represent all sailors in Island Sail and the community of Vinalhaven. Win or lose... we want them to hold their heads high and know that good-sports are always winners.

Friday we have a fun-day activity planned for the afternoon, which all sailors are invited to take part in. This will replace our racing clinic that we normally have on Friday afternoons. That will be the final sailing event for this season. Saturday we are hoping for a good day so that we can get things wrapped up and stored for the off-season... tying up loose ends on Sunday and/or Monday. Anyone that is really good at lifting boats and washing sails is eagerly invited to join us on Saturday :o)

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