Now that it's fall and the weather has been turning cold and rainy, I realize how great the weather was this summer. It was sunny and warm, perfect for sailing. So that's just what I did.
I love to sail. When I was younger, my dad would take me sailing in our little boat, and although I would get scared when it was too windy, I always had a great time. As I got older, a sailing school was started as part of the Marquette Junior Yacht Club in Marquette, and I started going there. I quickly learned how to sail better, and enjoyed it from the beginning. As the sailing school expanded, I learned more and more, and began to get more involved in sailing, with the new racing program and this year, for the first time, as an instructor. This past summer, I did the most sailing I've done yet.
At the beginning of my summer, I went to the Netherlands. I have a lot of family that live in the Netherlands, since both of my dad's parents emigrated from Holland. I saved my money, and took a trip to the Netherlands by myself. While I was there, one of the highlights of my trip was sailing. I got to go twice.
The first time, I went with my great-aunt and great-uncle in their small, wooden boat, in a little lake-at least little compared to Lake Superior-called the Sneekermeer. We took a day trip, and stopped for lunch on an island. I was told the island is where local sailboat races start and where spectators gather.
My other sailing experience while I was there was a longer trip with some of my dad's cousins and their young kids. We went sailing through some of the canals in the countryside. They own a much larger boat, about 35 feet long. We even slept on the boat overnight while docked in a small town. Although it was wet and rainy the second day, the first day was beautiful weather, and very windy!
I did even more sailing when I got back home. For the past few years, I have been involved in sail racing and I have sailed on Wednesday nights with the local Ensign fleet (an Ensign is the type of sailboat we use). However, for the local sailing community the more exciting news was that the Ensign Nationals were being held in Marquette this year!
To sail in Nationals, you do not have to qualify, other than meeting boat standards and registering ahead of time. Boats from all over the country came to race in August. As I mentioned before, I am very involved with the sailing school, and they planned to set up a youth racing boat in Nationals. I was happy to be able to be involved.
I was able to skipper one of the three junior boats. (The skipper of a boat is the driver). I wasn't really in charge, because there was an older girl on board who was the "Captain," but it was lots of fun anyway. We were the only all-girls boat racing. Despite not doing so well overall, we had tons of fun and a few good races.
Now that the summer is over, I can look back and see what a great season it was, for sailing and in general. Unfortunately, the weather isn't very good for sailing anymore, but I can always look forward to next year!
Editor's note: Maggie Guter, 15, is a sophomore at Marquette Senior High School. She is a long time member of 8-18 Media and is also involved in in sailing, skiing and piano. Her parents are Jake Guter and Mary Doll of Marquette. 8-18 Media is a youth journalism program of the Upper Peninsula Children's Museum. Through the program, teams of kids write news stories and commentaries on issues important to youth and about any good, or bad, things youth are up to. (For this column) New member trainings are held three times a year and the next one is coming up Oct.27 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Children's Museum. (for this and future columns) For more information call 906-226-7874, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.