Finding myself without a boat to sail, I decided to take the US Sailing courses from Harbor North in Port Huron on Lake Erie. I decided that it was time for me to learn the nautical terms for ropes, cables, steering wheels and sticks and all the other names that my fellow sailors at Atwood tossed around. I dragged my oldest daughter along for the first two levels but just couldn't get her into the whole 6 knot max idea. For my bareboat course, I ended up on a 34 ft Pearson with Capt. Mike and an older fellow with a bum knee named Joe who couldn't leave the cockpit. Needless to say, I got a lot of practical experience over the weekend. We deviated from the schedule just a bit when Capt. Mike heard of an all night sailboat race out of Sandusky Harbor. I was quite flattered to receive several invitations to crew on the various boats. I learned later that everyone wanted me because I am a big guy and they all needed movable ballast. I spent the night clinging to the rail on a boat named Sow's Ear. The owner was a pork farmer from Lima. We had winds in the 15 to 20 knot range and kept the lower rail buried for most of the race. I was sure I was going for a swim before the night was over. We ran aground heading back to the harbor costing us any chance in the race and ran the batteries in the boat to low to start the engine. We ended up sailing into the harbor and to the dock. These guys really knew their stuff. I headed home from the weekend high on sailing and ready to find my next boat.