Sail Away

at 11:35 PM

If you are a not a sailor, you would probably care more about the America's Cup if it were full of steaming gourmet coffee and being delivered to you with breakfast in bed -- by the sailor of your choice. About two years ago, I would have felt the same way.

Then I took my first sailing lesson and fell in love. I fell in love with the sound of water whiskering the hull, the heightened awareness, the breath-giving views, the camaraderie with fellow crew and the endless supply of things to learn. There's so much to love about sailing-why aren't more people into it?

The perception that sailing is an exclusive activity for the super-rich is enduring -- and false. Here's the truth: You don't have to be an elite racer or wealthy to enjoy a sail on the Bay. Owning a well-maintained boat requires a significant investment but owning a boat and going sailing are two different things. All you need to go sailing on the San Francisco Bay is a little bit of effort and a warm jacket.

What does that have to do with the America's Cup? Only this: If people are willing to spend millions of dollars to play in your backyard, it might be time to figure out what in the Sam Hill is going on back there that is so interesting.

Sailing is what's going on in our backyard and it is accessible every day, all year long, for anyone who wants to go. Really, there's a sailing experience that fits your budget -- it just takes a little research. Type "learn to sail in the Bay Area" into a search engine and you can get yourself out sailing this week. The San Francisco Bay is our backyard -- let's not let those America's Cup racers have all the fun.  

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With a Perspective, I'm Monica Alicia Bland.

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