Spring has (sort of) sprung

Depends where you are and what you’re doing, but learning how to sail or sailing in a club is right around the corner!

IN THAT PIC: old and new, workboat and racing sloop, City Island Harbor. Late March. It’s ON!

So, yesterday evening, I was double checking the temps and precips at several spots to juggle competing concerns… fleet prep and launching, and also a potential last shot at some snowboarding. Interesting stuff! Had to double check to be sure… don’t take my word for it!

Yup… we are totally inverted temp-wise. Partly sunny everywhere, although it had just rained a bit in NYC.

NYC: 51°

Hunter NY (Catskill Mountains): 56° (nb: it was 59 shortly before I screen shot these)

Killington, Vermont (about 1/3 of the way up to Canada): 66° (and yeah, it was at least 67 shortly before)

This weekend is the last of the season for Hunter and Windham in the Catskills. Stratton in Vermont hasn’t announced a closing date yet, but they’re getting kinda close. Magic is already done. But Killington? 83 trails open yesterday – a few more than just a few days ago due to moving snow around and grooming. With a little luck, I might still get up for a day and a half or so without neglecting anything here in the colder south!

No…. not cherry blossoms, but who’s counting? Still beautiful. If anyone knows what they are, prove you read this and chime in! Riverside Park, April 8.

The cherry blossoms are popping. That means the fishing picks up, and it means that sailing weather gets more consistent soon. Sailing Club sessions are available almost as soon as we splash the first boat! Classes start in a little over a week, with Start BareboatingSM (ASA 104) on the 17th. Start (ASA 101, learn to sail) begins May 1. We used to always start in April with that: mid month. We took some bruises with weather delays, but it worked. Until, of course, it didn’t.

Global warming and related climate/weather changes have made April too iffy to jiffy reef (reduce sail) and suit up/show up for April beginner lessons. It’s not so much a matter of cold; that can factor in, of course, but most students who come for lessons have done some skiing or snowboarding, and many are regulars. They have the gear. But, too much wind is counterproductive or even unsafe for beginners. Add cold and rain, and it’s freakin miserable sitting in a boat with cold wet hands on ropes and steering sticks (tillers). Plus, hard to keep a dry butt.

Late March, Killington Resort, Vermont. We had fog, wind, rain, and thunderstorms on and off all day. The next day was bluebird by comparison! And, most of the mountain was still open. As of this captioning, they have 79 trails open (yesterday ended with 83). That’s still more than 50% of Killington minus Pico!

June is arguably the single best month for beginners to learn to sail. It averages out two key variables: volatile weather, and time to continue practicing and enjoying as the season goes. Having said that, people learn successfully throughout the boating season. Any month can have a few stinker days that aren’t productive enough, and lead to a make-good. Our courses aren’t over until they are – when students have the skills they need to go skipper the same boat they just learned on! Otherwise, what’s the point?

THEY DID! The couple that learns together… keeps sailing together, if they do it right the first time. With us, you do. JP and Liz, aboard Kilroy (our Pearson 10M), dusk on a fall day on City Island Harbor, gateway to Long Island Sound.

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