I learned to sail in a Sunfish, which Dad bought me when I managed to swim half a mile at age 7.  The Sunfish was a styrofoam boat that Dad coated the bottom with fiberglass to protect it from the rocks on the shore in front of the house.  It has a single mast, about 10' tall, and was about 11 feet long.  It had a retractable centerboard, and was a terrifc boat to learn to sail in--but was difficult to paddle.

I spent a lot of time sailing in the bay in front of our house.  It was a great place to learn to sail, and by the time I was 12 I probably had hundreds of hours sailing it. 

My sisters also had a Sunfish, and one summer we decided to sail around the lake.  We took both boats, our cat (who swam back and forth between the boats!!) and dog.  We sailed around our hill to the bluff, where we stopped for the night.  After we got the fire going, our cat flushed a baby fox, who ran up the bluff with the cat and I in hot pursuit.  The cat gave up, but I kept chasing...and chasing...and chasing.  We were closely matched in speed, so while I couldn't catch him, he couldn't get away either.  We'd run and run, and then he'd dodge behind a clump of bushes and we'd both catch our breath.  After I'd caught my breath I'd try to edge closer, and he'd start edging away and then the chase would be on again.  After nearly an hour I gave up...I just couldn't get close enough to him! 

We camped on the gravel beach below the bluff, and the next day we resumed our trip around the lake.  We had good winds so made good progress, though my memory doesn't say whether we camped out another night!

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First written spring 2010.

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