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What Took Me So Long?

Photo by Dan Phelps

Photo by Dan Phelps

You are in a sailboat under sunny skies heading out to deeper water to take a relaxing ride back and forth to nowhere in particular. Finally! You have wanted to do this for years. A gentle breeze blows across the boat, which heels gently, and you feel the pleasant, steady rock of the boat as small waves lap her sides.

After taking turns with the other sailors, your instructor lets you steer for quite a while. You zig-zag at first, but it gets easier as you focus on steering toward a dip in the trees you see on the far shore. Your crew trims the sails and shares some laughs, especially as your buddy gets splashed in the face with some wake from a passing boat. Another crew member takes the tiller and gives you a chance to just kick back and enjoy the scenery. Sailing language starts to make sense, even after one afternoon of “tacking,” “trimming the jib,” and “taking the helm.”

When you head back to the dock, your crew helps to take down the sails, fold them, and carry them to the shed. You happily hose down the deck and scrub it with a brush—it’s actually fun. You already feel some sentimental attachment to this boat. Sailors who spend so much time just messing around on boats make sense to you already. After such an enjoyable day, you feel a little giddy. As you head toward the parking lot, you glance back one more time at your boat tied quietly at the dock, lonely looking without her sails and crew. You feel a pang of sadness that the day has ended…

You, the new (or returning) sailor, may ask the one question we have heard hundreds of sailors ask over the years when they get into sailing: “What took me so long?”

Lack of time and a perception of sailing as too expensive hold back many potential sailors. We cannot create time your schedule, but we can dispel some of the myths about sailing and give you more reasons to carve out time to try it—cost-effectively, with gear you may already have in your closet. Sure, you can spend as much money as you want “yachting,” but you can try sailing with nothing more than a desire to learn and minimal, if any, investment. That’s what Start Sailing Now is about. So, why wait another year? Start now.

~Molly Winans, SpinSheet and  Start Sailing Now editor