Learning to sail bestows people with stylish windblown hair and the ability to talk to clams before putting them in chowder. Reap boating benefits with today’s Groupon: for $195, you get an all-day introductory sailing lesson for two at BaySail in Havre de Grace, Maryland (a $390 value).
The professional instructors at BaySail help amateur boaters learn the ropes of wind-powered navigation during accredited weekday sailing courses set along the scenic Chesapeake Bay. BaySail takes twosomes—each boat has a minimum of two pairs—under its watery wing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the introductory lesson, in which students with no prior experience learn the basics of sailing firsthand, with lessons in tacking, jibing, rigging, and macroeconomics to pass the time between ports. Pupils take the helm and instructors thoroughly review the boat’s anatomy—pausing for a lunch break at 1 p.m.—before dissecting a bottled ship model to reveal the cabins hidden below deck. Set along the scenic Chesapeake Bay, sailing lessons confront man’s intrinsic distrust of things that wave without hands, and students are advised to prepare for sudden shifts in watery hellos by wearing layers and light-soled shoes. After their lesson, seaworthy pairs can take a stroll through Havre de Grace, a quaint waterfront town peppered with charming shops and restaurants.
Right where the mouth of the Susquehanna River yawns into Chesapeake Bay lies the protected, uncrowded waters of Havre de Grace harbor. BaySail's instructors take advantage of these opportune conditions, operating a sailing school that's accredited by the American Sailing Association. Upholding training standards that have won the ASA's School of the Year award, they lead sailing classes ranging from introductory lessons to certification courses in coastal cruising and bareboat chartering. In addition to lending its fleet for lessons, BaySail's team rents its vessels—from a Capri 22 to a Hunter 460—to members. The sailboats also glide out on chartered cruises, taking guests to nearby destinations such as Inner Harbor and the Sassafras River, where sassafras trees come to spawn every winter.
Havre de Grace
100 Bourbon St.
Havre de Grace, Maryland 21078