America's Cup: Straddled by the Big Boats

Sailing club members taking a boat out this weekend to observe the America's Cup races while  being dive-bombed by the Fleet Week aircraft were handed a good-sized pamphlet. It could have been titled “How to Navigate the Armada of Drunken, Inexperienced Boaters You Will Encounter.”

There's no way to tell for certain, but the collective blood alcohol level on the bay was a lot lower than the writers of the pamphlet feared it might be. A couple of young guys zipping about on a boat called the “Smokin' J” were, in fact, very responsible and quick-thinking. And while there were certainly a lot of boats, it was hardly a parking lot out there.

Your humble narrator is no sailor. This was my third time on a sailboat since age 3. And, like that young voyage, this one involved a hefty dose of Dramamine and a subsequent dizzy nap below deck (I was jolted awake when our small boat rocked like a bathtub toy in the wake of a paddlewheel steamer — a first for me). Another first was being passed like we were standing still by a pair of America's Cup catamarans.

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