David's Diary: Friday, March 7, 2003

The Boys Go Sailing in Monastir

Roland and the Boys
Roland With Kevin and Allen

One day, while the boys were walking around the marina in Monastir, they spied a small sailboat tied up at the dock. Kevin and Allen mentioned the small sailboat to our friend Roland from the sailboat Sylphe. Roland did some investigation and discovered that the sailboat belonged to a captain of one of the tourist galeons that take tourists out for the day. Roland got preliminary permission to take the boys out sailing the boat over a month ago.

Because Tunisia is a police state all movement in and out of the country is carefully controlled. It is extremely unusual for a Tunisian to own a pleasure boat. From the police point of view think of what a person with their own boat could do? They could leave the country without telling anyone. This despite the fact that the closest foreign islands are almost a 100 kilometers away and the sailboat in question is not designed for long passages. The small sailboat owner had to meet with the police and Roland to arrange for permission for Roland to take Kevin and Allen out for day sails. Only in Tunisia ...

Sailing Off
Sailing Off

Kevin and Allen have been bugging Roland every day for the last month to go sailing. With the paperwork out of the way today was the big day to head out. While Kevin and Allen spend a lot of time sailing on Dragonsinger, they really need to sail a small boat in order to learn the "feel" of sailing. Karalee and I really appreciate that Roland has put so much time and energy into arranging things for Kevin and Allen. We know that they will learn a lot. After all, Roland is not their Mom or Dad.

It takes a half-hour for the three of them to finish rigging and checking out the sailboat. Then it is time to raise the mainsail while I help them to untie the boat from the dock. Soon they are sailing away. Kevin gets a chance to sail and Allen adjusts the lines by himself. For today, they stay inside the marina, but it doesn't really matter. With the help of Roland they have learned a lot and not just about sailing.

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