Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sailing Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis for Free

I am visiting an old university friend in Minneapolis for a few days, and he happens to live right next to Lake Calhoun. So I went for a walk around the lake this afternoon to take a few pictures on this beautiful day.

I went out on the pier and laid down in the gorgeous sunshine. I was awoken by the sound of a boat pulling up. I look up to see a sailing boat with a distinctive broad red stripe along the bow. A guy hops off and picks up the young man sat further down the pier. He then approaches me and asks: 

“Do you want to go for a ride on a sail boat?” 

What else can I say apart from “Yes!” I hop on and so starts my free sailing adventure.

Me Sailing Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis - Photo: Werner Meybaum
The guy who was steering the boat, Benjamin, had only been out a couple of times, but with the help of Werner the guy who’s boat it was, he soon learned. We went out and Benjamin did a few turns and Werner left us to it.

We returned and Werner joined us and gave us a lesson on how to dock, and we practiced coming close to the pier a few times. On one pass we saw a lady with a little girl and Werner asked “Do you want to go sailing?”

She asked “How much is it?”

Werner replied “Its free.”

She replied “We would love to!”

Werner shouted as we pulled away from the dock again, “We will come back around and pick you up”

We learned a bit more and then went to pick up our new passengers, Beth and her three year old granddaughter Lidia. It was Lidia’s first time on a sail boat, and I was happy to be part of this experience! After letting Lidia have a go at steering with Werner teaching her, we headed back. They all got off and Werner took me out on my own, and showed me how to dock. We practiced a couple of times, and he taught me the basics of sailing and then we pulled up the dock and he jumped off and said “Okay, you are ready for going solo now!”

Lake Calhoun - Photo: Werner Meybaum
I was delighted, he stayed on the dock and told me what to do and got me to practice coming in to dock a few times, and then he said I could go further out and he would be back in a bit. When I saw him on the dock I was meant to go back, so I was out for about 20 minutes riding solo and doing all kinds of turns. I really got into it, and developed a love for sailing! Then I saw him on the dock in the distance waving so I headed back. He snapped a couple of pictures of me and then I docked and jumped off. He told me where I could find the pictures and to come back soon.

If you want to go sailing on Lake Calhoun, then just walk up to the dock and wait there in the afternoon for Werner or one of the other guys to pick you up. They have a blog, and they even take pictures of you, and best of all it is absolutely free!

Thank you Werner for a great new experience :)

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