Well, seems only proper that the first article on this website is about an upcoming sailing trip in the Caribbean. Starting in St. Martin (Sint Maarten) we will pick up a charter and spend some time enjoying the cruising life for a while. Getting away from winter in Europe will a be nice change however things are just starting to move into Spring around here and we expect to find the trees covered with new leaves and flowers blooming when we get back.
As for the charter, this will be exciting as I have recently (in the past year or so) become very interested in sailing and learning about cruising. The opportunities to cruise in the Mediterranean as well as the Caribbean are appealing. After having spent years exploring all the diving locations the Caribbean has to offer, now we can start to explore it from the deck of a sailboat as well.
Last Fall I got ‘the sailing bug’ when I took a three-week sailing course with Sean at Sail Excel in Cadiz, Spain. Prior to the time with Sean, I studied the course materials and passed my RYA Day Skipper and RYA Coastal Skipper written exams. Poor Sean thought I, and my two friends, all had some practical sailing experience. I can still see the look on his face when we all three said ‘not much, just sailing a Hobbie Cat once or twice’! At any rate, it was a terrific time and I found I had some talent for sailing but, more importantly, really enjoyed it as well. The parallels between sailing and aviation (I’ve been a private pilot for almost twenty years) are amazing and I’m finding my understanding of weather and navigation cross over very nicely to helping me with sailing.
One of the big differences is that, with an airplane, you can go around/over the weather and avoid it for the most part. In a sailboat, you put on the raincoat, hunker down and wait for it to hit you (you occasionally have the ability to get out of the way but at 6-8 kts it’s a little tougher). Navigation, electronic charts, radios, all that stuff is the same though so the areas I’m lacking in are smaller than someone else starting out.
For me, sailing allows me (ok forces me…) to get outside, be active and get away from the computer. As someone who has spent a major part of his life sitting in front of a monitor typing on a keyboard, the activities of sailing and visiting new places is really appealing.
Sailing is a facinating new world to explore and I hope you choose to join me once in a while as I write up some of my activities so stop back to take a look when you can.