|Much to our delight, we found that the incredible people at the Yacht Club in Townsville take fledging sailors and others out for a sail on Wednesday nights. We arrived at the Marina around 5 PM and found numerous people waiting to go sailing. We chatted with a few of the skippers of the sailboats and then found that we were on our way down to a boat slip with a delightful man named Russell. He had been sailing for over 30 years and raced his Yacht on numerous occasions. Walking along the floating dock to the boat slip we noticed several sailing vessels getting ready to go also. We got to the boat and off came the shoes, it was a barefoot sail only. No shoes allowed on Russell's boat. Climbing aboard we soon found ourselves helping to get ready to sail. We did not know we were about to be part of the crew....... And that is just what happened. Russell took his boat under power by a small motor out of the harbor and into the Channel towards Magnetic Island as we exited the marina and harbor we were instructed on how to raise the sails and what rope to pull when and how to unwrap and stow gear. Wow what an adventure. Soon we were under full sail and the sun was setting, the breeze was light and the moon came out. The boat zipped across the water with us laughing at the fact that we were crewing a sailboat. We are now out in the bay and turn North along the shore line, the turn makes sailing a little choppy and Ann is a little sea sick but I got over it quickly as we then start to race the other boats back to the harbor. We have been leisurely sailing for about an hour and a half now but as we turn to go back to the Marina they all start to race. We all got very excited as the sails filled with wind and we sped up. The boat also started to lean to a 30 to 40 degree angle, so we all hopped to the railing and hung our BUMS (that's bottoms) over the side, thus leaning the boat back, every time we caught a gust of wind, out over the side we pushed ourselves and we flew across the water. The moon was out so bright we could see all the sail boat's sails silhouetted in the light, their running lights on, the Townsville shore lights and the stars so bright you could touch them......We all yelled faster lets over take the next one, and we did, whooping and laughing. We came in third back to the harbor, only because two much bigger boats passed us at the last minute. Russell had Rick handle the helm and steer the boat all the way into the harbor and to the boat slip. Rick was so proud of himself as he didn't even crash once. And so our leisurely romantic sail on the Coral Sea turned into a fun fast mini adventure that we will never forget. I am only attaching two pictures this time, as I had no time to use the camera, we were much too busy. Are we having fun? You could say that, plus much more.