Isabelle Smith was this year’s winner of the Jack Michie Award for sportsmanship and helpfulness at the Club. Isabelle clearly loves the Sailing Club and two years ago she was asked to tell her class at school what she did in her summers. This was her presentation to her classmates. We thought it was worth sharing:
“EWWWWWW! EWWWWW! It’s a dead fish, and a smelly dead fish at that, then whack…a boom hits you in the head. If you can’t handle dead fish then you will have a hard time swimming in the lagoon. If you can’t swim in the lagoon you can’t come to Sturgeon Lake Sailing School [See editor’s note 1].
And that would be a shame, because even though there are the dead fish, the smelly lagoon, the booms that will swing and hit you if you are not paying attention or the fear of your first dump day, there are so many amazing things: the speed on a windy day, Tuesday movie nights, Friday night theme dances, the morning rituals of Oh Canada and land games, the great instructors and cottage friends. Therefore the good, the bad and the ugly balance out to make a great summer adventure.
I have been going to sailing school for three years now and can’t wait to start my fourth year. We spend to whole summer at the cottage so I go to sailing school from eight in the morning until 12:30 in the afternoon every week day for most of the holidays. It has become a huge part of my cottage life.
Last summer both Danielle and Haley come up to the cottage and joined me at the sailing school. They both agreed that the raft wars and the dances were the best. We all love the raft wars because it is kind of like “King of the Castle” but on a free floating raft in the middle of the lake. The dances are also great fun. On Thursday the instructors tell you what the theme for the Friday night dance is, Hawaiian, pajama, gangster, pirates, etc. and the best costumes win prizes.
The instructors are all really cool and fun. My instructor Pete made every day fun, even dump Wednesday. Wednesday is the day everyone has to dump their boat into the water and go overboard and then get your boat back up. On a really cold yucky day, this can really stink.
On the windiest day ever, there were only six of us in one boat that were brave enough to face this wind. Madison, Rachel, Sara, Shea, myself and the instructor Pete went out and it was so windy that Pete started to freak out. Well I can tell you when your instructor gets freaked it’s time to worry. We almost tomb stoned (that’s bad) in the lagoon but we lived to tell the tale.
At sailing school we have many rituals. For example, I love Beach Day. This is where the entire sailing school gets into their boat and we all sail for thirty minutes to get to an island. Here we play chicken wars in the water and eat pizza and return home.
Suntanning Day is where everyone goes out in there boats – we go near the point and then go in the middle and turtle our boats and then lay on the bottom of the boats and suntan. What Blish!
Pirating Day is where white sail I, II, and III go out in their boats and jump in the water and then swim to a different boat and try to capsize (dump) others boats.
Game Day is where every boat is given a riddle and they have to try and solve their riddle so they can get to the next clue, which is another riddle to be solved. After each boat has found all the clues, they go back to sailing camp and try to figure out the word. The clue to each riddle is a letter. Once they have all the letters, they must unscramble them to find the word. The winning boat get jumbo freezies.
We also have fruit Olympics – football in our boat with a watermelon, swimming races with limes in our mouths, blackened mushed bananas that the skipper has to eat.
Report card day is every Friday. This is when the instructor brings each sailor individually into their office and gives them their progress report.
My favorite week is race week. This is the last week of sailing school and the whole week is racing. Each day there is a different type of race and you can win ribbons and trophies.
On the last day of sailing school, we derig all the boats and put them away for the summer. When we have finished derigging, the instructors bring out ice-cream and we have a giant ice-cream fight. After everyone is a total mess, we throw people into the lake and have our final raft war.
Before the last Friday night dance we have an award presentation and a slide show that covers the whole summer. Sailing school has been a great experience for me and I am looking forward to many more years and am hoping to join the race team and even to become an instructor.”
Editor’s note 1: This is Isabelle’s embellishment to add a colour…the dead fish have disappeared from the lagoon and no one swims in the lagoon…dead fish or not. Everyone aged 8 to 17 is welcome to join the Sailing Club. The fun part described by Isabelle is all true…