Learning to sail was one of the most heart pounding, thrilling experience I have ever had. That’s saying a lot considering; I’ve been scuba diving all over the world, flown in aerobatic bi-plane, and been sky diving.
The heart pounding, thrilling part of the class was when I had to sail on a Close-Hauled point-of-sail. (Point-of-Sail is the direction of the wind as it relates to where it touch the boat first. Think of a boat like a clock, the bow (front) of boat is 12 and the stern (back) is 6.) When sailing a Close-Hauled you are sailing as close to the wind as possible without being into the wind or “in-iron”. With a good 7-10 knot wind and the sails trim properly; the boat speeds through the water, the tiller (which controls the rudder) becomes very heavy, you’re constantly making adjustments (using the tiller) to stays on the point-of-sail, and the boat is tipped on its side to the point that water is almost coming over the side and you think that its about to tip over. Or at least that’s what it felt like to me. Heart pounding!!