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Best Place to Pick Up a Sailor San Francisco 2004 - Cal Sailing Club's "Open House"

Sailing, traditionally a diversion of the posh, carries a commensurate price tag at the numerous local academies where the ambitious can transform themselves from nauseous newbies into sea-legged old salts. Just an hour of lessons can run into the hundreds of dollars, and learning to guide a wind-powered boat across the choppy bay is a complex skill that takes time. So what's the down-on-her-luck wannabe water-explorer to do? Stop by the Cal Sailing Club's monthly "Open House," at which members of the nonprofit group give free rides to introduce potential joiners to the joy of flying across the water. It's a friendly affair that usually ends with an informal (and often quite flirty) meet-and-greet; should the newly initiated wish to sign up, yearly membership fees are a mere $200, including free lessons on a first-come, first-served basis.

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