But it isn’t mine. Even better, it’s my daughter’s: an Optimist sailing dinghy, which we gave her two Christmases ago. I’m happy to report that Loblolly floats. (This is the name Zuzu had chosen shortly after she got her, and unbidden by her parents. It’s a paean to the beautiful stretch of beach on the backside of Anegada.)
So now Zuzu is sailing her own boat, erasing her own doubt, overcoming her nerves, enjoying the feeling of trying to do things for herself that she’s never done before.
There’s a theme here, which we’re continuing from the winter where Zuzu’s downhill skiing, and our effort level at bringing her along and growing her skills, and it’s been a revelation. Like with skiing at her level, learning and growing is a marathon rather than a sprint. More is accomplished from regular small bites than a once-a-year, daylong banquet.
Of course all the effort has been interspersed with learning from other sources and it is not a bad idea, since I don’t consider myself expert at teaching or being up on the latest techniques (to wit, the pizza and French fry techniques for young skiers. Too distracting! But snack-bar revenues may be the savior of the ski industry).
Still I’m not fobbing her off completely on any instructors. There’s certainly a cool feeling when you see some aspect of her technique that you know comes from you, something you helped instill.
The proper care of a boat is definitely something she’s learning from me. Loblolly was a little rough, a tough little Winner (that’s the Dutch builder) who has had quite a variety of owners who made the most of her rugged construction. She’s the only one in the dock racks with varnished wooden daggerboard and rudder (all the others have composite, plastic rudders–where’s the fun in that?), and Zuzu says she sails just fine, and she would know since she was on the boat with a classmate–not an instructor–on just the third day. It was pretty windy and choppy. There were whitecaps.
This summer is just getting better and better. Now about my boat….