It's no secret that Northport has a high concentration of retirees. That doesn't mean, however, there isn't a strong community commitment to our young people. One successful endeavor aimed at our youth is the popular and productive Northport Youth Sailing School. I headed over to the beach to check out what they might be up to. I'd tried photographing the Wednesday night races the evening before, but they'd been cancelled due to small craft advisories and too much wind. Safety first!
As I came upon the beach, I could see the young sailors were readying the new fleet of Optis for their afternoon sails. And with the wind still being still quite strong, I imagined they would be facing some challenging waters.
Out first were two young girls in an Opti named Babe.
One sailor sat on the boat's side controlling the tiller and heeling out when she needed to; the second sat lower in the boat.
Two boys were out next in their Opti, 20/20.
What were they feeling? Fear, exhilaration, fun?
The two boats eventually joined up out in choppy Northport Bay...
and practiced the skills they'd been learning in the classroom and on the water. Sometimes they came into close contact!
Fortunately, instructors were always near by with their Zodiacs ready to give instructions and help when needed.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the bay a couple older youth were out in a Laser Pico.
They too experienced the challenge and fun of sailing in choppy waters and strong winds. Both heeled in the Laser, a much quicker and responsive boat.
Coming about in these conditions was especially demanding, but it looked like all the students had a good time and honed some new skills about sailing in windy seas.