Kids taste the joy of sailing

PORT ANGELES — The wet sponge went flying and the two young girls squealed with delight as it fell between them in their sailboat, seawater splattering everywhere.

It was now their turn to play tag with the wet sponge.

It was just a typical day with a bunch of seventh graders taking part in the YMCA Summer Sailing program in Port Angeles Harbor.

“Sponge tag is what the evil instructor does when he's bored,” said Benson Kalahar, the head instructor of the class, taking place all this week near the Boat Haven.

“The game starts with a wet sponge and usually turns into a huge water fight, but it's fun,” Kalahar explained with a laugh.

On a low-wind day Monday, the four instructors in the three chase boats needed something for the mostly seventh-grade sailors to do to keep them from getting bored during their first day on the water.

A game of follow-the-leader in which the sailors follow each other in their Vanguard 15s petered out when the wind went from slight to still.

Young sailors need to be entertained while they're learning or they quickly lose interest, Kalahar said.

Details appear in today's editions of the Peninsula News, on sale throughout Clallam and Jefferson counties. Or click onto “Subscribe” to get your PDN delivered to your home or office.

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