On a cool, breezy Sunday afternoon, Zamami’s youth sailing club gathered to teach its newest members the basics of rigging and sailing a boat. In Japan, and around the world, young sailors through the age of 15 compete on the optimist class of dinghy. Zamami’s youth sailors are no exception to the rule and spent the afternoon learning the ropes, or sheets for you nautically inclined readers out there, of their very own optimist boats.
One of the local sailing enthusiasts and coaches, Mr. Akira, and one of the children’s parents began the lesson by going over some general sailing terminology. With the proper nomenclature established, Zamami’s newest, avid, young sailors learned the basics of rigging their optimist. Mr. Akira emphasized one point in particular. Always face the bow into the headwind when rigging the boat, or suffer the consequences of a smack in the head as the boom drives its way across the hull to align with the wind.
With the optimist rigged and ready to go, and no sustained cranial trauma, the three club members in attendance heaved the dinghy to the launch. The trailer had two flat tires but was nothing three kids ready for an adventure couldn’t handle. Especially in sailing, teamwork and communication breed success.
Putting the principles instilled by Mr. Akira to the test, our young adventurers jibed and tacked back and forth across Zamami’s harbor, dodging diving boats and even the high-speed Queen Zamami. The sailors at hand undoubtedly felt accomplished at their maneuvers, but we’ll refrain from explaining how motor-less boats retain the right of way at sea, at least for now.
Upon calling it a day, the club members once again hauled the boat across the docking area. All three kids in attendance cut no corners and made sure wash down every inch of the hull. It truly was a great day for an adventure at sea.