Local Aspiring Sailors Set Out to Sea

Some local men and boys are taking a step back in time to experience a taste of maritime history and to learn a new skill, sailing.

Four people Saturday set aboard the Glenn L. Swetman schooner for a lesson in sailing, the first of four lessons to be strewn out over the month of March. During the first lesson, the sailing students learned basic terminoly and how to put up the sails.

Every sailor on board had to pull his weight, whether it was 12-year-old Joe Johansen or 78-year-old Henry Pike. Henry retired and relocated to the Mississippi Gulf Coast 4-1/2 years ago. He can look out at the Sound from the Armed Forces Retirement home where he lives, but he's found setting sail is a nice way to unwind.

"It's something to do when you don't have anything else to do," Pike said. "Sailing is just, looking for a breeze, and enjoying yourself for a few hours, that's the name of the game, sailing."

"You can sail all your life..you can sail by yourself, you can sail for fun, for relaxtion, you can sail for competition," Captain Brandon Boudreaux said.

And sailing can be enjoyed by anyone any age, offering up a lesson you can't learn in a textbook.

"It taught me a lot about teamwork, because if I were to have done this all by myself, and the other men weren't...it could have been messed up. I couldn't have done it without the other crew," said Joe Johansen.

The beginners know they can't become expert sailors after one lesson. But that may be the best part of learning, setting sail over and over again.