800 Langdon Street
If you’ve ever driven down or up Park St. you’ve probably never seen Hoofers. Do you know why? It’s because technically, it’s not even on Park Street . . . It’s under it!
Hoofers does many activities, but the four they do at that building are wind surfing, sailing, kayaking, and canoeing. But the thing they are most well-known for is the sailing. Hoofers sails . . . a lot! Hoofers has many, many boats. They even make some.
They have a thousand members and sixty to seventy people go sailing a day. But all at different times. And these members are at any age. Mostly college students here but they have kids who are members, seventy years and older, even dogs are members!
We were told what the rescue boat does and how it works. Also we learned how to tie a figure eight knot.
We saw two boats getting worked on, one that was almost finished and one that just came in. The one that they were just about done with had a nice coat of new paint and looked almost new. The boat that just came in was really ratty looking. It had paint flakes peeling everywhere and most of the top had no paint.
The third station was to practice sailing on land. Two people got into a boat at a time and spent about three minutes practicing moving the boat and the sail. When you turned, the sail moved so you had to duck your head when the boom came towards you. It was a very small boat, but it gave you the basics of sailing.
They use flags for signals. Blue flags mean strong winds. Yellow flags mean there could be a storm, so boats have to say by a line. A red flag means there is a storm and all Hoofer members have to come back to land.
They have a steam whistle to blow whenever there is a storm coming up. When they think it’s a storm they blow it twice or if they have enough steam, three times. They also blow it once to warn sailors it’s an hour to sunset so that gives them time to get their boat back to shore before dark.
The Tech [boat] . . . is a really fast boat good for races, a lot of people can ride in them at once, maybe eight to ten people and of course a dog or two.
Hoist the sails!
Man the oars!
Tis golden to the ears of a sailor
Tis rubbish to a landlubber like thee.
See the flag,
Tis yellow with the caution,
Green for thee ok —
Tis red the one to watch for
As you see the rolling white caps.
Rock, rock, rock
Forward, back, forward, back.
Creak, creak, creak
Flash of light
Rush of cold air
Black clouds tumbling over the horizon
I can feel it on the wind
Storm’s a rollin’ in.