I started sailing about 5 years ago. I don’t go as often as I would like to, but then there are so many things I love to do. Learning to sail has been on my Bucket List since I was too young to call it a bucket list. For some reason it took years to get around to learning. I think it was working in San Diego and seeing sailboats on the harbor every day that finally led me to go for it. I still have very basic qualifications and sail small boats, but I really love spending 2-3 hours on the water on a beautiful, breezy day. I would love to go at least twice a month, but realistically get out more like every other month. I don’t think it would be worth it for me to own a boat at this point in my life, but may consider that at some point … post retirement maybe when I have a lot more time.
The nice thing about sailing is it is easy to learn, and once you learn it is like riding a bike; you never lose it. You can get a little rusty though, so watch out those first couple minutes if it has been awhile. I really enjoy taking family and friends out to show them the peacefulness and beauty of sailing. I usually give them a quick lesson and a shot at the tiller. I have only been on a larger boat once, and it was really awesome, but I really, really enjoy the simplicity of skippering a small, but stable boat, say a 16.5 foot Capri.
If you’re interested search in Google for sailing lessons and the nearest city/town with a marina. I was lucky to be able to take my lessons at a Navy marina here in San Diego, and can rent boats by the hour from the same marina for a very reasonable rate. When you are looking for a place to learn to sail be sure that the instruction is certified and that you will gain certification that will allow you to rent boats at most marinas. Also be sure you understand what types of boats you’ll be qualified on and the limitations of your certification.
It’s all about the wind. Be sure you find a good website that gives you forecast wind speeds for the area you will sail in. It can be very disappointing to get to the marina only to find that the flag is laying against the pole. I’ve gone out under very low wind conditions once, and it was a little irritating. Today when we first showed up at the marina there was no wind, but I had looked at the forecasts and knew that the wind was expected to pick up by 1pm. We went to waste some time nearby, and as you can see by the pictures the wind eventually picked up as forecast and we had a great time on the water.
If you live somewhere with a large body of water nearby, I recommend giving sailing a try. There is nothing as satisfying as the boat ripping through the water under wind power. And of course the best thing about the wind is that it is FREE!