It wasn’t even Sunday and everyone was in a sun daze at sail daze. A few times a year the scouts and officers of the Sam Houston Area Council Fleet come together for a variety of joint Fleet activities and exercises. Every April or May, SHAC Fleet has traditionally hosted what it likes to call Sail Daze. At Sail Daze, scouts from all across SHAC come together for a day of sailing and fun on the water activities. There were a variety of activities held at Sail Daze and there was lots going on.
One of the most fundamental aspects of Sail Daze is in the name, the sailing! Ships from all around the council tow in trailers every year to Shell Beach at Houston Yacht Club loaded down with sunfish and lasers. Sunfish and lasers are awesome boats for Sail Daze for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they are fantastic boats to learn to sail on. Learning the basics and fundamentals of sailing such as boat nomenclature, points of sail and sailing techniques are usually far better understood by first time sailors when shown to them on a sunfish as opposed to a 30’ sloop. It made it possible to bring in Boy Scouts and non-scouters to teach them about sailing and introduce them to the Sea Scout program. It allows them to make mistakes and learn without necessarily having to face the harsh consequences that can come with making mistakes on larger vessels. Additionally, they are small and easy to transport which makes them desirable vessels for this kind of event. A couple larger sailing vessels were trailered in, just being only slightly larger than a sunfish.
In addition to all the sailing, Sail Daze would not have been possible without the chase boats. The Fleet asked for 2 to be in attendance but had over 5 on stand by and they were definitely needed. Adventurous sunfish sailors ventured beyond the protected area off Shell Beach and soon learned their lesson. Strong winds throughout the day capsized, turtled and pushed astray countless sunfish, keeping the chase boat coxswains busy. After lunch a 3 point sunfish race was held. There was a little confusion over the location of the markers due to increasing swell sizes. The race went on with relative success anyways and seemed to be enjoyed by all involved. Everything wouldn’t have been possible without the work of Skipper Peter Cushman and Ship 208 in all getting everything ready for Sail Daze. From buying the food for lunch to organizing life guard watches and making sure all the equipment necessary was procured, it all wouldn’t have been possible without their hard work. I think it is safe to say that Sail Daze was definitely a success.
By: SHAC Fleet Boatswain Nick Kramer