Learning to Sail, Moraine State Park

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Pierce
Participant
#

Greetings all,

For years I have wanted to sail. Inspired by The Truman Show and the documentary Deep Water (http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi1755382041/), this year I am finally going to do it.

http://morainesailingclub.org/

This organization has learning to sail days on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer.

The only downside is that it is in Moraine, which is an annoyingly long drive for somebody that’s accustomed to the comforts leisurely cycling around the city.

More importantly, with gas approaching and surpassing $4 a gallon, I could appreciate sharing that cost with somebody else.

So anybody feel like learning to sail this summer and putting up with me for like nine hours a day? (only two hours confined)


boostuv
Participant
#

Might be interested. I’ve always wanted to learn to sail


Kayla
Participant
#

Tempting. Need a refresher/real instruction.


sarah_q
Participant
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You can ride your bike there :)

Also, please report back on the snake situation. I have heard from boaters on Moraine that “the lake is thick with snakes”. As a swimmer, I am quite curious as to the accuracy of this statement.

Sadly I don’t have time for another hobby but I already know how to sail, come to think of it. A bonus of growing up in FL.


edmonds59
Participant
#

Snakes? Why does it have to be snakes?

Kind of puts a damper on my desire to try stand-up paddleboarding there.


sloaps
Participant
#

Yes! windsurfing last year renewed my interest in sailing and dinghy jokes. I’m down.

Looks like the first seminar is May 13th


Kayla
Participant
#

I’ve sailed Lake Arthur quite a bit and have never seen a snake.


helen s
Participant
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What is the problem with non-venomous snakes? Just remember, it is their lake, not yours. They were there first, and most likely outnumber the humans in the lake.


Marko82
Participant
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I have fished that lake for years. The snake population is no different than any other body of water – just let them be.


sarah_q
Participant
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Are these snakes non-venomous? I am not killing them, and trust me, I want to let them be.

The “thick” part of “thick with snakes” is what got me. I had a permit to do a distance swim one time there and the park ranger also warned me about the snakes which is what made the comment my friend made even more plausible.


Marko82
Participant
#

I have never seen a venomous snake at Moraine anywhere near the lake. I did see a rattler ONCE, sunning himself on a trail about a quarter mile from the nearest water.

Water snakes (non-poisonous!) are usually back in the coves swimming in and around the lily pads and other aquatic growth – probably not where one would go swimming. Even then I might only see three in a whole day’s fishing. Even if you did manage to swim up next to one it would ignore you since they are looking for frogs and small fish to eat, not swimmers.


ejwme
Participant
#

I’ve never personally seen anywhere “thick with snakes” – that does sound bad, but from what I’ve seen up there, sounds like an exaggeration. It’s probably also dependent on time of year, like most populations.

I’d always been told to stay the hell away from snakes near water because they could be water moccasins… but the interwebs tells me that’s a result of my paranoid and outdoorsy family all coming from the south and not realizing that those snakes don’t live up here. I wonder how many other dangers I’m conditioned to watch for only occur several hundred miles south.

I had a coworker a few years back that sailed up there, I think with that group, and loved it. Is there no sailing on the rivers? (I know diddly about sailing other than it requires a wind and a floating thing to put a sail and human on)


edmonds59
Participant
#

My next door neighbors are originally Indian, and a couple of times a summer, they come and find me to relocate the occasionally large black snakes that sometimes show up. The kids ask me why they freak out so badly at snakes, and I tell them, kids, where they come from, the local snake might be a cobra. The kids seem to get that. :D


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I know of only three species of venomous snakes in PA, and none are particularly common. At Jennings Environmental Center, up near Slippery Rock, you might run into a Mississauga rattler, but even there, looking for them on a half-dozen occasions, I’ve never seen one. I’d say there’s a near-zero chance of encountering one in the water.

Copperheads are also a rare sight on a lakeshore, much more likely found in the woods.

Ditto the timber rattlesnake.

More info at this PDF from the PA Fish & Boat Commission.

Short version: On the shore, or on a lake, you’re pretty safe from venomous snakes.


reddan
Keymaster
#

Short version: On the shore, or on a lake, you’re pretty safe from venomous snakes.

I’d venture to guess that you’re far more at risk from Drunky McBoaterson than any venomous snakes, at least in most local bodies of water.


Mick
Participant
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You think Drunky McBoater and his cousin Drunky McDriver are NOT venomous snakes? You need to read the comments on the P-G more


reddan
Keymaster
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You think Drunky McBoater and his cousin Drunky McDriver are NOT venomous snakes? You need to read the comments on the P-G more

I wouldn’t insult venomous snakes with that comparison.


Drewbacca
Participant
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@stu, copperheads like to hang out in the rocky spill ways and the areas near the dams. I haven’t seen any in open water or even in the woods for that matter.


sarah_q
Participant
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Pierce, I am sorry I co-opted your sailing thread with my fear of snakes.

The cove where I was approved to swim is off limits to rental boaters so it’s generally pretty safe from Drunky McBoaterson. But yeah… also Beery O’JetSkiier worries me, particularly in the river.

As do the beavers…. which I am sure are rabid and want to eat me. I have an irrational fear of animals that makes my love of open water swimming very difficult. I am from Tampa Bay and the Bay happens to be one of the most shark-infested bodies of water in the contiguous US.


edmonds59
Participant
#

Holy crap you must really love that open water swimming.


sarah_q
Participant
#

also terrified of land animals (turkeys, dogs, bears, enraged possums, etc.) which makes biking (and running) somewhat difficult.

someone should go sailing with Pierce! :)


Drewbacca
Participant
#

“Pierce, I am sorry I co-opted your sailing thread with my fear of snakes.”

You should be apologizing to all of us who have Samuel L. Jackson’s voice stuck in our heads. LOL


Pierce
Participant
#

BLAME ANYONE BUT YOURSELF for not being strong enough to not watch that movie:

I actually forgot about this thread until just now; I’ll keep the interested parties informed, 99% going to go through with it. I’ll probably be working that first one on May 13th, but after that my Saturdays shall be free


ejwme
Participant
#

sarah – When I was 12, I was once floating down a lovely stream, happily and lazily watching dragon flies land on my camp required life vest, when suddenly I felt something furry brush against my calf. I instantly knew it was a 150# rabid vampire beaver (or potentially a demonic raccoon), and proceeded to ensure that my death throes would adequately warn my fellow campers enough to save at least the strongest and the fastest from the evil menace of the deep that was amputating my limbs even as I flailed.

Within 5 embarrassing seconds it turned out to be a particularly furry moss growing on a rock in the ~20 inch deep shallows I’d drifted into, and the pain was self-flailing induced bruises on said rock, not blood thirsty jaws.

The irrational fear of creatures in open water I can adequately suppress just long enough to get myself into a situation where, for absolutely no externally excusable reason, I take complete leave of my senses in the most dramatic and embarrassing ways.

So now I’m less afraid of creatures in open water, and more afraid of what I will do when inevitably startled in clearly creatureless open water.


sloaps
Participant
#

Anyone afraid of snakes should go noodling for catfish.

I’d still like to go sailing even if in a “What About Bob”-like way.


helen s
Participant
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“also terrified of land animals (turkeys, dogs, bears, enraged possums, etc.)”

Where do humans fit ito that list? Most animals, and certainly all around here, don’t want to mess with you. Only when humans get involved (personally or with their dog) do they get ornery.


Mick
Participant
#

From an open water swim forum:

It was quite capable in the water, perhaps a little on the slow side, but it wasn’t impressed by my appearance.

Edited to add – agoogle search shows the qutoe to be from here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-501492/Shark-eats-swimming-kangaroo-Australia.html


edmonds59
Participant
#

Where can I learn this “catfish noodling”?


Pierce
Participant
#

Okay, so for those who have indicated an interest in learning how to sail:

Learning how to sail is a commitment of both time and resources, but I think it will be an enriching and pleasurable experience.

A Moraine Sailing Club membership costs $35. An additional $40 is required to participate in the Learning to Sail Days. So that’s $75 for the season, and then ideally we would be splitting the transportation costs. (I hoping the gas does not go up too much more over the summer.) From their website:

“It takes about 20 hours to master the art of sailing. Our LTS sessions are 6 hours long, so on average it takes about 3 to 5 sessions to master all the skills, but there is no time limit, no pressure.”

There are ten LTS days over the course of the summer alternative between Saturdays and Sundays.

If you’re up for the challenge, let me know. (Via PM, include your email address) You can read more about the program here:

http://morainesailingclub.org/website/newsailors/learntosail.html


mark
Participant
#

although I’ve probably sailed 10,000 miles at this point my small boat handling skills are kind of pathetic… I don’t have a good idea of how much gas is going to factor in but I think I’d be into going up and sailing a bit, especially if gas is getting split more than one way… did anyone else take you up on this?


sloaps
Participant
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*raises main sail*


Pierce
Participant
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Aye, so far we have myself, Sloaps, Mick and potentially you now. Gas shouldn’t be too bad between four of us, plus it will be outside of the city driving, so I think we’ll get good mileage.


mark
Participant
#

I’m going to check with work and see if it seems reasonable… sounds cool… thanks for posting it


Pierce
Participant
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We’re due to set sail this Sunday

I didn’t realize it, but all Learning To Sail Days are actually on Sunday


sloaps
Participant
#

Weigh the anchor!

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