Keelboat sailing on Lake Coeur d’Alene: an overview of Outdoor Pursuits free outings
North Idaho College students boarded the Study Aboard keelboat Sept. 13 as part of an Outdoor Pursuits trip, one of many offered to students this semester.
Terry Brinton, Outdoor Activities Coordinator, commanded the 26′ keelboat and took the students to Lake Coeur d’Alene to introduce them to the basics of sailing. These bases included:
- Hoist the sails
- drive the boat
- Maneuver to allow the wind to propel the sails
- Flocking (lowering and retracting) the sails
The journey, however, was not smooth. Smoke from nearby Grangeville and central Idaho still hung in the air, and of the six places open to students, only four had registered to go. Of these four, only three arrived at the event, delaying the start by about twenty minutes as Brinton waited for the fourth student.
The biggest obstacle the keelboat crew faced was the lack of wind. A boat engine, attached as a secondary propulsion device, was to be used to move the boat in open water. When the wind picked up, the students sailed at a “brisk walking pace”.
Once out of the open water sail, the students engaged in relaxed conversation with Brinton and the Outdoor Pursuits volunteers. They had the opportunity to ask questions and discussed sailing races as well as sailor superstitions and jargon.
Because the wind did not permit prolonged sailing, Brinton offered to let the students resume the excursion in the coming weeks. He also said Outdoor Pursuits is expected to release the full Spring 2023 travel schedule in December.
“My favorite part was the view of the lake and the opposite mountain sides,” said Stallings, who plans to go on the catch-up trip.
Every NIC student is entitled to one free Outdoor Pursuits trip this school year, paid for by ASNIC. ASNIC has invested part of its budget, which is generated by tuition fees, in these trips to enhance the college experience of students.
ASNIC President Damian Maxwell said this about the trips:
“I think it’s important to sponsor these kinds of events because it makes a huge difference to the student experience here at NIC. I always assumed that college was a super simple thing where you attend lectures and take exams, so it was pretty cool to hear that college offered things like free OP travel and clubs. It showed me that North Idaho College is more than just a campus, it’s a community that’s willing to go the extra mile to give you the best college experience possible.
While the free trips are applicable for the entire school year, ASNIC says they will only be available until funding is exhausted. Students can register for their free trip on line using the promotional code “freetrip22”.