One of the things that’s long been on my to-do list is to go sailing. This summer, thanks to a Groupon offer, I finally got to go on a sailboat in the Chesapeake.
No, not this sailboat. We went out for a day with BaySail Sailing School up in Havre de Grace, a quick 45 minute trip outside the city. They have several little sailboats they’ll charter for day trips with a captain and 4 paying crew members. Ironically, the weekend we went for a sail was also the weekend of the Sailabration pictured above in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor-a kick off event to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Why is that War so important to commemorate in Baltimore? Besides the fact that battles were actually fought in the harbor (remember, this is the War in which the British sacked the White House and Dolly Madison saved the portrait of George Washington), it was also when Baltimore’s own Francis Scott Key wrote our national anthem.
Fortunately for our small sailboat, we were quite a ways from the crowded Inner Harbor area. BaySail was great to work with-friendly and knowledgeable staff members. The Groupon offer definitely made the day more affordable but we got our money’s worth either way, spending literally all day out on the water learning the basics and taking turns at different jobs. I found the radio chatter between motorboats and sailboats to be particularly amusing-as you can imagine they are natural enemies-and also loved learning to steer (I’m sure there’s a more technical term).
I also learned how dependent sailboats are on wind. I mean, everyone knows that. But it was amazing to see the effects that slight directional differences and strength of the gusts had on both our speed and ability to maneuver. I decided I’d definitely like to learn more. That’s one of the nicest thing about coupons from places like Groupon, LivingSocial, or GoogleOffers-you can try out something you normally wouldn’t want to spend much on. Granted, you do have to actually remember to use the coupons.
Speaking of sailing and coupons, another great offer we got this summer was a pirate cruise around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor with Urban Pirates! The instant I saw the special offer I knew it would be perfect for my brother-in-law’s 21st birthday when he came to visit us. And it was! The crew at Urban Pirates are great, adding lots of fun “extras” to an already fun adventure, including great music, games, and free costumes to wear onboard. They’re great for kids’ parties or outings during the day but also offer “Bring Your Own Grog” tours after business hours, which is what we did. Located down in Fells Point, they’re also perfectly situated for parties that are just getting started and would like to continue on land (we had a bachelor party on board with us).
I’d highly recommend either cruise if you’re itching to get out on the water this summer! Or if you just want to be a pirate for a day!
Any other recommendations for getting out on the water near Baltimore? And what’s the best Groupon/LivingSocial offer you’ve found? Leave a comment to share!