“I’ll clear one question up for y’all before you ask it because I know you’re going to eventually,” said the thin and soft-spoken cadet, “that fuzzy stuff up on the rigging is called baggy wrinkle; we make it from old dock lines and it’s used as chafe protection for our sails.” From the aft deck of the USCGC Eagle eight young necks, including my own, craned up to get a better look at what our guide was pointing to.

I imagine hundreds of people will be told the same thing in the same spot and look upwards in the same way this weekend, but their experience will be different. They will not look up to see two headsails and four staysails trimmed for a westerly breeze. They will not look over the rail to see water streaming past the massive white hull. They will not be cooled by evaporation of salt spray from the bow wake of the 45 foot response boat that shuttled us across to the Eagle.

At Courageous young people not only learn to sail, but also gain a truly special new perspective on their home city. From the tiller of a 19 foot keelboat the harbor seems massive to a young person, made more so by the few inches that separate them from the water. On the deck of the 295 foot Eagle, one feels small again, not from ferries and pilings but from the three massive masts supporting all 22,280 square feet of her sail area.

I have never heard the word “explore” used more on a sailboat than I did from the three campers and four instructors in training that accompanied me on the Eagle yesterday. We wove through the clusters of sharply dressed big wigs and dignitaries who dotted the fore and aft decks. While the other guests stayed close to the rails for pictures of the harbor, the kids poked around on the lower main deck leaving no open door or hatch uninvestigated. Their interest was understandable, they see the skyline from the water every day, how often do you get to see a Laundromat behind a waterproof steel door?!

Despite being the youngest people aboard the IITs and students were given a great deal of respect and attention from the crew. One of b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_7663.JPGthe students asked our guide if the coast guard ever raced and he immediately brought another cadet over to us who introduced himself as a member of the coast guard’s offshore racing team. He asked the students and IIT’s about their sailing experience, about racing and what it was like to learn to sail in Boston. He put in one last plug for offshore racing before being pulled away for his duties preparing the dock lines.

As we approached the navy yard excitement grew and we found an open spot on the starboard rail. “Is that really step two down there?” one student asked, “I didn’t know we looked that small!” Fingers were pointed and waving hands exchanged between us and our fellow campers and coworkers below.

Soon we were tied to pier 4 and looking down at the roof of the boathouse. Though the docking was fascinating, the taunting aromas that wafted from the galley skylight below us and from the courageous barbecue made our departure from the ship a fast one. We thanked the cadets and the captain and made our way down the steep gangway thus ending a truly wonderful and unique experience.

I will never forget the day I sailed the Eagle to my home pier and I doubt the campers and IIT’s will either. Hurricane Harry said a child’s life is improved with 50 yards offshore; I bet 50 feet above the water helps too.

By Ian Hay, Courageous Assistant Site Director

            

It's time to think about summer!

Winter is officially over, and only a few weeks remain until we open our doors for the 2015 season on May 1st! We have been working hard to increase programming this winter and build our fleet. Read on to catch up on the latest the Courageous adult program has to offer!

Jake Denney, Adult Program Director

Volunteer Day and April Open Houses 
As a community organization, Courageous cannot operate without the support of our members, neighbors, and friends. Volunteer Day and our April Open Houses are a great way to get involved and meet some new people if you are new to Courageous, and for long-time supporters to help spread us the word.

Volunteer Day will take place on Saturday, April 11, from 10am-4pm. Please join us for a day of getting the boats and boathouse ready for the season--no experience necessary, and lunch will be served! Sign up and get more information here.

April Open Houses are 12-3pm on April 18, 25, and 26. During Open Houses we offer discounts on memberships and lessons, free half hour sails, and a BBQ. If you'd like to take people out sailing (Green Flag and experienced Yellow Flag members only), man the grill, or help with sign-ins, please sign up here. This is a great time to renew your membership and purchase lessons, and the last chance to get discounted prices before the season starts! To take advantage of the Open House discounts without attending in person, you can purchase memberships and lessons online or by phone (617-242-3821).

New Courses, New Boats
This summer Courageous is excited to announce two new adult program courses--Safe Powerboating and Sportboat Sailing.

In Safe Powerboating, students learn the basic of powerboat operation through both hands-on and classroom work. The first course of the year is offered on April 25th and 26th from 9am-5pm each day. Graduates earn a certificate endorsed by NASBLA, the USCG, and US Powerboating. To sign up or ask a question about this course, please call 617-242-3821, email Jake Denney, or visit our website. We are currently offering this class at a 10% Open House discount.

In the 12 hour Sportboat Sailing class, students will learn advanced sail trim techniques and how to use an asymmetrical spinnaker. This class will be taught on one of our J/80s and is highly encouraged for those interested in Sportboat Memberships. A Green Flag on the water rating is required to take this course. We'll also be offering shorter instruction sessions on the J/80s for Yellow Flag sailors who want a taste of what it's like to sail a sportboat. The Sportboat Sailing schedule will be posted online by May 1st. For questions on course content or about our growing fleet of J/80s, call 617-242-3821 or email Jake Denney.

Additions to the Courageous fleet this year include a Canadian Sailcraft 30, a Pearson 34, two J/80s, a Rhodes 19, and a new safety boat for the Youth Program. We are proud to be making such strides in improving the quality of our fleet and offering expanded programming. Feel free to contact Courageous with any questions about our new Cruising and Sportboat Memberships.

Summer Racing Series 

Advanced Rhodes 19 Racing: Last year we heard that racers wanted this long summer series broken up into shorter series, similar to how we run Frostbite racing. So this year, Tuesday night racing will be broken into spring, summer, and fall series, each lasting 6 weeks. Racing starts at 6PM each night, and registration fees have been lowered and broken up by series to encourage more participation. Check out the full NOR for pricing and more information.
* Series 1: May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2, 9
* Series 2: June 16, 23, 30, July 7, 14, 21
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