Tired of sitting prettily on the porches of Seattle's Corinthian Yacht Club, or of being the least accomplished and least patiently put-up-with members of their husbands' crews, 33 young matrons set uncertainly out to sea on Lake Washington the other day. As the lubberly wives of men who like to sail, they were taking direct action to win themselves an acknowledged share of elbow room in the family boat.
The teachers are women club members who already know how to handle boats. "Women learn better from other women than from their husbands," said a student. "Husbands are inclined to be impatient."
In five shore-school sessions the girls learned nomenclature, marline-spike seamanship, sailing to windward and other essentials. Then, on a fine May morning, the group had its first real sailing lesson on Lake Washington. Aside from a couple of near smotherings from jibs not briskly hoisted, things went amazingly well.
There was a man-overboard drill, designed to answer the question, "If your husband fell overboard, what would you do?" One dutiful wife reported she had rescued him all right, but only "after six tries and minus a head."
"That," said an instructor, "is why we use dummies. They float better than husbands."
Two seasons' experience has shown that, despite awkward beginnings, the ladies do make good sailors.
This is a growing idea. It could spread, and we bet that it will.