After my experience on the Woodwind, I was hooked, and started reading as much as I could get my hands on about sailing. I couldn't think of much else except gaining formal sailing training. I was able book a weekend training course for Noemi and me at the Annapolis Sailing School, in Annapolis, Maryland. The Sailing School, as we refer to her, is one of the oldest schools for teaching sailing to the public in the world and offers a wide variety of courses at beginning, intermediate and advanced skill levels. We took their Basic Keelboat course on one weekend, which included four sessions of classroom training and theory, and four on-the-water sessions sailing on the gorgeous Chesapeake Bay with an eccentric instructor using Rainbow 24 keelboats (the same boats used at one point to train Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy). Another couple started the course with us, but they bailed out after the first day on the water, so Noemi and I essentially had private lessons on the second day. On that second day, Noemí and I met Yaya, an alumnus of the School taking advantage of an opportunity offered by the School called the Keelboat Club. Membership in the Keelboat Club offers free, unlimited use of a Rainbow for a full year. Yaya has become one of our closest sailing friends, and we look forward to many future adventures with him and his family.
Another wonderful aspect of the Annapolis Sailing School is for the first week after successfully completing a course with them, students may take out a Rainbiw for free to practice. Thereafter, alumni of their program receive a lifetime discount on full-day or half-day rentals. We took advantage of this feature, and tried to get as much practice as we could, sailing on the Chesapeake Bay as a family (introducing our six-year old son to the sport) and sailing with Yaya.