Sailing 101

Photo by Dan Eggert.

Jay Lott, former sailing instructor and Board Member at the Ephraim Yacht Club, has a few tips for beginners.

“Get a good instructor. Sailing is a lot of fun, but you do need to learn it from somebody,” Lott said.

The Ephraim Yacht Club offers sailing lessons for kids. Next year, they are expanding their program to include adult classes too. According to Lott, they teach anywhere from 100 to 150 kids to sail within a nine-week time span, which makes them one of the largest junior sailing programs in the Midwest.

Olivia Demarinis, my sailing instructor during a private lesson, took us out on a Flying Scott. One of the biggest difficulties I’ve faced while learning to sail is trying to detect wind direction.

“I use the ‘Owl’ technique. All you do is turn your head until you can feel the wind blowing over both ears,” Demarinis said.

I no longer need to fixate on my wet finger in the air.

Jay Lott offered another tip, “Pick a day when the weather’s nice. Also, make sure it’s weather that’s appropriate to your skill level.”

Demarinis pointed out the different colors of water indicate how the force of wind blowing over it. Dark ripples, or “puffs” have more wind, and lighter areas, “lulls,” have less.

The view from the bay was breathtaking and the lesson informative and relaxed.

Put sailing lessons on next summer’s agenda. Contact the Ephraim Yacht Club at 920.854.7107 or visit them online