One of the things I love about living in Comox is being able to ride my bike to the marina to go sailing.
Like most teenagers after a long day at school, I am tired and starving, but I know I still have sailing to look forward to. I rush to grab a snack. I get my helmet on, hop on my bike, and whip out of the house as fast as I can. I feel free and independent as soon as I am on my rusty old cruiser bike and ride the scenic way along the water so I can enjoy the view.
Running down the ramp and seeing all my friends, teammates, and coaches puts a smile on my face. I sail an Optimist, which is a small 8ft single-handed sailboat, with the Comox Bay Sailing Club. On the Opti team there are about 10 kids. Our coaches are both high school students who have been sailing with the club for many years. They are lots of fun and know so much about sailing.
On windy days I’m extra excited because sailing is the best thing to be doing on a stormy day! Rigging up is a bit tricky because all the gear gets blown everywhere. Once we get out on the water, the goal is to not fall in, capsize, or get whacked in the face with the boom. It requires a lot of focus and quick thinking and I enjoy the challenges. You would be surprised by how fast little boats like the Optimist can go.
I love the view of the mountains and the Comox Glacier from the water. We sail around Comox Bay and enjoy the views from downtown Comox all the way around to Royston. We are lucky there is so much wildlife in the Comox Valley. Last fall, a pod of dolphins came so close to our sailboats we could have almost reached out and touched them.
There are unique natural water flows that are present in Comox Bay. One example is the toilet bowl effect. The toilet bowl effect is when the water comes in through the mouth of Goose Spit and curls around the inside of the bay, creating a whirlpool that changes the current. When the tide is coming in, the water flows clockwise, and visa-versa when the tide is going out. Water flows and wind direction contributes to the uniqueness of sailing in Comox.
I feel lucky to live so close to the ocean and the mountains. Sailing helps me appreciate and connect with the beauty of the Comox Valley.