When surreal nightdreams bleed into morning reality and confused bedmates wake up on a bunk-boat in a carpet sea, they best know how to sail. Learn the values of maritime and dreamtime navigation with today's Groupon: for $175, you get a two-day basic keelboat sailing lesson with Spinnaker Sailing School (a $375 value). Voyage down to the salty shores of Spinnaker's location for two midweek or weekend lessons that last six hours each and provide step-by-step guidance from American Sailing Association–certified sailing instructors.
The phenomenon of sailing marries an understanding of wind's benevolent powers with an oceanic communion capable of transporting seafarers to and fro across the backs of sea denizens. Spinnaker's lessons pit new students against the challenges of the bay as highly experienced teachers show the rope, dope, sails, and technical machinations any able skiffer needs to know to negotiate the gentle 300-foot waves. Basic Keelboat Sailing I teaches the fundamentals of sailing from the deck of a USS Mini-Enterprise as students gather together to learn the anatomy of a boat, sailing vernacular, boat safety, knot philosophy, steering, wind patterns, and more over the course of two consecutive six-hour days. Your first two hours of each day take place in the classroom, and the rest of the time is spent at sea, where you're free to roam the ocean and participate in no-holds-barred races with grandstanding orcas. All skills and lessons are put into practice, developing immediate sailing confidence in the rookiest of landlubbers.
Classes shove off Monday and Tuesday or every other Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., giving both 9-to-5 professionals and weekend freelancers the opportunity to learn their ports from their starboards and their man-overboards from their manatees-suddenly-onboards. Be sure to wear sunscreen, dress warmly, and avoid wearing black-soled shoes, whose unscrupulous machinations can leave marks on the pristine boat decks. Participants will take a midday lunch break, so pupils are encouraged to bring food that won't attract schools of ravenous flying piranhas.
Sailors must be 16 or older.
Three Yelpers give Spinnaker Sailing School four stars:
Saltwater runs through the veins of the passionate instructors at Spinnaker Sailing. Attuned to the winds and waves of the San Francisco Bay, they've taught aspiring sailors how to navigate the waters with lessons that emphasize both skill and safety. The team also maintains an affiliation with the American Sailing Association, upholding high training standards as they show all levels of sailors, including kids, how to captain watercraft from keelboats to coastal cruisers.
In addition to helping sailors obtain ASA certifications, Spinnaker Sailing oversees a sailing club, as well as coordinate local charters, skippered cruises, and sailing vacations to storied destinations such as Tahiti and Valhalla. The fleet, which includes 22- to 40-foot yachts, launches into the waters of San Francisco bay from Redwood City Marina.