Well, after two weeks of sailing camp, and some anxious waiting, (will pappy send the laser hull? Will it leak?) we finally have liftoff.
Thank you pappy, from two grateful and highly excited boys!
Yes, the hull leaks, like a seive. The sail is old and torn, and the boom fills up with water every time the boat capsizes. (what? Oh, yes! Regularly!) to add drama to an already exciting experience, the laser is an adult boat, and Chas and Sam have learned on optimists:- small-sailed, light boats. So whenever the boat capsizes in a sudden gust of wind, the combined weight of two boys is JUST enough to right it again. If the wind doesn't blow too hard. And if the main sheet isn't cleated. And if the hull hasn't filled up with water. And IF there is absolute co-operation between the sailors in question!
Sitting on a dry jetty, sipping a cold Carib in the breeze and watching the action is highly entertaining! The boat goes over to squeals of delight, and there is a moment of indecision while they decide which way around the boat to swim. (being separated is not yet an option) then two boys have to clamber onto a keel that isn't quite made for two, and is suspended a foot above the water. When their combined weight starts to bring the mast slowly up out of the water, they clutch the side of the boat in unison, and pull themselves onto the deck. The boom and mast immediately swing boyward, and the boat capsizes gracefully back over, with mast and boom back in the sea on the opposite side. Repeat!
Chasbo and Sam have done well on their first day. Chas actually won "best sailor" in his group at sailing camp, and the instructor, after some thought, felt that the two boys could manage a laser together. "you have a recovery vessel Mrs. S?"
And the boys' report on their own performance: "Did you see us capsize? It was GREAT!"