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Wind And Waves Make For An Incredible Sailing Trip

(Read Begging All The Weather Gods For Another Sailing Adventure first, this story will make more sense!)

At 2:20 p.m., Mark and I walked back to the harbour and tried to find the right schooner.

“Look, Mommy, right here! I guess it means the lesson is still on?”

I laughed.

“Be careful what you wish for… it’s really windy, it’s going to be quite an experience!”

“Not like last time?”

“Definitely not.”

I used to windsurf, surf and sail. I know this kind of weather. When you hear sails flapping and mast lines chiming in the wind, it means it’s windy. Like, really windy. It was hard to tell from the harbour, but I was also guessing waves were… ahem, quite big.

But off we went anyway, eight innocent and not-so-innocent souls taking a two-hour sailing lesson. The instructor was super excited—“Now, this is proper sailing weather!”

Mark was very proud because he was taught rudder 101 and he got to steer the boat from the harbour into the deep sea. It made me smile—for about ten minutes, we were all chatting and hoisting the sails while Mark was doing his job and taking us where we had to be. This is sailing in France—for some reason, it’s completely acceptable to send kids to sea and let them figure things out. Been there, done that, and this is my kind of parenting as well, teaching to be more responsible.

We were greeted by strong wind gusts and rough sea as soon as we left the sheltered harbour. I know, it doesn’t show on the pictures because I hide the camera the second we took the first wave and got completely wet, then I had to deal with “my” sail and focus on, you know, sailing. Mark was still at the back, and I was at the front, trying to remember what you’re supposed to do when there is so much wind the boat is basically flying.

“THIS BOAT CAN’T CAPSIZE!” the instructor shouted.

Two of the passengers weren’t convinced.

“No, really, it can’t. Long keel. It’s stable enough!”

I mean, technically, she was right. Still, the boat was heeling nicely, and even though it was perfectly normal and expected, it was an adrenaline-filled ride.

At one point, Mark managed to move and sit beside me. “And you call yourself a mother!” he joked. “How many dangerous activities do we have left to do?”

Once you get used to the rough sea, sailing is actually a lot of fun. I even managed to take a few pictures closer to the harbour.

I finally had the sailing adventure I was looking for, and best of all, Mark had fun too.

Port Olona, Port des Sables-d'Olonne
Port Olona, Port des Sables-d’Olonne
Mark steering the boat from the harbour into deeper waters
Mark steering the boat from the harbour into deeper waters
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Mark steering the boat from the harbour into deeper waters
Mark steering the boat from the harbour into deeper waters
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Mark steering the boat from the harbour into deeper waters
Mark steering the boat from the harbour into deeper waters
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Mark steering the boat from the harbour into deeper waters
Mark steering the boat from the harbour into deeper waters
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Mark steering the boat from the harbour into deeper waters
Mark steering the boat from the harbour into deeper waters
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the "Fillao", Les Sables d'Olonne
Sailing lesson on a three-masted schooner, the “Fillao”, Les Sables d’Olonne
Port Olona, Port des Sables-d'Olonne
Port Olona, Port des Sables-d’Olonne

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