Sailing is both a recreational as well as functional activity for millions of people around the world. Often, when we think of sailing, we think about the massive ships that cruise the oceans, the yachts that race in competitions, and about the money it takes just to own one, let alone having enough friends or family who might be interested in going out on the water on any given day.
But sailing is so much more than that. It is about connecting with nature and being surrounded, and powered, by the forces that encompass us on a daily basis. It’s often easy to forget that such wonderful things are all around us when we drive to and from work, text on our phones, or merely walk through the grocery store to find something to eat. The world is abundant with the basic necessities and the promise of reconnecting with it.
Sailing doesn’t have to be a process requiring five, six, or even a dozen people to be successful. Small sailboats require only one person to cruise around calm waterways, such as rivers and inland lakes. Of course, whenever you have help, and company, the entire day can open up so many more possibilities.
Imagine bobbing gently in the cool water, the air calm, waiting for it to take its next breath. The sail ripples gently but you’re in no hurry and there’s not another boat or person in sight. All you hear are the distant sound of life and nature moving about in its perfect symbiotic way. You don’t concern yourself with gas prices, work problems, or difficulties in a relationship. Out here it’s only about relaxation.
Then the wind begins to build. It tugs on the mainsail or the jib and slowly the boat beneath you cuts through the water. The boat leans up gently and your hand is on the rudder, steering straight ahead. Soon the wind is in your face, brushing past you and that’s the only sound you hear aside from the occasional splash of water against the hull.
You move across the lake, catching every puff of breeze in the sails and you begin to laugh in delight. If you’re alone, you are loving every minute of it. If you’re with someone, you two share a special bond, knowing that this day couldn’t be any better. Sailing helps people to reconnect with not only their inner child and the joys we once embraced on a daily basis, but also with the world around us.
Sure, it takes some skills that can be learned relatively easy before launching for your first voyage, and they can also be discovered through the natural course of trying. Sailing has been a part of human culture for thousands of years and while in its infancy, sailing was more about function than recreation, there’s a reason why millions still enjoy taking to the water to await the next breeze to guide them through the silky glass waterways.
The art of sailing is open to everyone and if you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out.