Boats take to the water during the Rehoboth Bay Sailing Association’s 2009 sailing school. Classes begin in mid-June in 2012. (Rehoboth Bay Sailing Association)

As you cross the new Indian River Inlet Bridge between Bethany and Dewey beaches, you may look out the window, see sailboats cruising on the bay and think, “Man, I wish I knew how to do that.”

Sailing is a way of life in Delmarva, and if you have a free afternoon (or several), you can learn the basics at the Rehoboth Bay Sailing Association, based at a marina on Rehoboth Bay just south of Dewey Beach.

The club has been teaching sailing since 1963. It offers both three-hour afternoon sessions for adults by appointment ($75 for one session) and week-long camps for kids ages 9 to 16 and adults beginning in mid-June ($200 for five three-hour sessions).

If you already know your windward from your leeward, you can rent basic Sunfish, catamaran and daysailers from the association. Expect to pay $35 to $45 per hour or $65 to $80 for a half-day on the water, depending on the type of boat. Rentals are on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s best to call ahead to see what’s available.

The broad bay itself is good for beginners and leisure sailing. Water depth ranges from three to seven feet, and it gets a steady wind from 5 to 15 mph without the choppy conditions you’d find closer to the ocean.

Sailing fans also can watch the association’s regattas and races, which usually begin at 1 p.m. on weekend afternoons.

Rehoboth Bay Sailing Association, Coastal Highway and Bay Road, Dewey Beach. 302-227-9008.