Along with being an eco-friendly communion with nature, sailing is still the only way to visit Make-Out Island, famous for its large number of giant spiders. Discover a new world of tacking and jibing with today's Groupon: for $179, you get a two-day basic keelboat-sailing course (a $395 value) at Island Sailing's Portland location. A $39 American Sailing Association–membership fee is not included in the value of this Groupon and will need to be paid separately.
Founded in 1979, Island Sailing's 360-degree sailing programs prep students for sailing in any aqua-environment with a fleet of 18 vessels and a crew of American Sailing Association–certified instructors who've traversed the seas from the Pacific Northwest to the Carolinas. They'll teach you the basics of keelboat sailing aboard a Santana 20, a 20-foot fixed keel often used for racing that provides a steadier ride than the smaller centerboard boats frequently used in beginner sailing courses. Along with sailing theory, you'll master practical skills, such as tacking upwind and proper rigging, and useful nomenclature, including windward, leeward, and matey. Typical class sizes of three students per boat ensure that you'll get plenty of one-on-one attention, and a written test will make sure you're ready for your first odyssey. At the end of the two-day course, you'll skipper the boat without the instructor as part of the Confidence Sail, thereby proving your seafaring salt without incurring the stink-eye of Poseidon. Classes last two days and are usually scheduled on weekends. Those scheduling classes during the summer months must do so by the end of January.
Island Sailing was mentioned in the Oregonian:
- Saidah explained sailing's advantages to people with special needs: Self-confidence. Independence. Calm. And family members are awestruck, observing their kids' abilities and, often, unbridled joy. Hamblen, 40, was sold and helped bring Heart of Sailing to the Portland metro area. David McGinnis, 19, of Scappoose is among those who've taken part in the excursions. McGinnis, a student in Westview High School's program for students with autism, recently demonstrated at Portland's Island Sailing Center the skills he's gleaned. – Jenn Director Knudsen, Oregonian