With San Francisco set to host the America’s Cup, a lot of people are hankering to set sail on the Bay. Be warned: Zipping across San Francisco Bay in a 35-foot J/105 racing sloop sailboat can be highly addictive. If you've never sailed but want to try, take a two-hour Intro to Sailing course with the good folks at OCSC Sailing in Berkeley.
They've been giving people the chance to "learn the ropes"—or simply kick back and enjoy the ride—for nearly 30 years. Powering out of the Berkeley Marina, the boat soon emerges into the gusty bay, famous for having the strongest average wind of any waterway in America. When the sails are raised—boom!—the wind hits and the good times roll, literally. Sailing rookies can sit pretty on the high side and take in the scenery—or frighten friends by getting behind the wheel and shouting, "Tacking on the starboard side!" or "The main sail is luffing in the no-go zone" or the always reliable "I'm sailing!" At only $40 a person, this is one of the most inexpensive (and intimate) ways to sail the Bay like a seasoned yachtie. Sink in.
OCSC Sailing, 1 Spinnaker Way, Berkeley; 510-843-4200. The Intro to Sailing course runs three times a day on Saturday from May through October..