It’s that time of the year where we talk about our love interests via Valentine’s Day. Will sailing be your Valentine?
I am a sailing cliche. I fell in love with sailing with Bob Marley in the background, a sunset, and the intoxication of a Mexican vacation.
All it took was a “booze cruise” on a 60-foot catamaran on the sea of Cortez. I wasn’t old enough to drink, but nobody seemed to care. The sailing excursion is titled a sunset cruise. In the brochures, when they sell you the ticket on the dusty street in Cabo San Lucas, the pitch is always ”You wanna go on a booze cruise? Three hours of all you can drink!”
The makeshift sales booth has pictures of the boat with people dancing and a far away shot of the catamaran with sails up, but they never try to sell you on sailing.
The pitch never included the sound the sails make when they catch the wind. They forgot to mention the sound when the engine is turned off. The guy selling us tickets ignored sitting on the catamaran’s trampoline with our legs hanging down into the warm water of the Sea Cortez. He failed to remind us that we would get wet. He omitted the gentle rolling of the current that swayed the boat to the ocean’s rhythm that is well known to sailors.
The truth is that our time on that boat that day was an introduction to the ocean. We were on a ship full of party-goers. We were young, maybe too young. It did not matter, it was only the ocean, the wind, the sails, and my imagination.
I often point to that day as the pinnacle of perfection in my sailing life. I have recreated that moment on catamarans in many places, but there is something about the first time you feel the freedom of being on a sailboat.
I eventually took my girlfriend to this spot on the Sea of Cortez. Without direction, she headed straight for the trampoline and slid her feet through the mesh, and said, “Sit here. This is the best spot on the boat.”
I married her. We bought a sailboat before we bought a house. We upgraded our sailboat before we thought about schools or neighborhoods for our kids.
I fell in love with sailing on a “booze cruise,” and it has dictated almost every decision since.
We asked our friends on social media how they fell in love with sailing and they shared comments and pictures.