I had ridden a bike past these boats for years. I had looked across the forest of masts every Saturday for as long as I could remember. I had spoken the words countless times, “I need to learn to sail.”
Naturally, I bought a boat before I knew how to operate it. It was a Catalina 27 and it might as well have been a mega-yacht because the moment I bought it I was hooked and I knew I would always be a sailor.
I had a boat.
So many years later the couple of weekends that it took to learn to sail and feel confident at the helm are still some of the most rewarding moments in my life. They altered my life. They changed the lives of my children and they have shaped every aspect of my life.
That’s my story; what’s yours?
National Learn To Sail Month
July is “National Learn To Sail Month” and, with that, American Sailing is encouraging as many people as possible to get out on the water and learn to sail. Sailing is a lifestyle choice, and at American Sailing the message is simple — sailing is for everyone.
American Sailing Schools around the country are participating in National Learn to Sail Month with special activities directed at encouraging new people to the sport of sailing.
Why Should You Sail?
You’ll be part of a large community that shares a passion for the ocean, for the outdoors and for the simple pleasure of feeling the wind in your face.
ASA launched the Women on the Water campaign to get more women sailing, and this is an extension of that campaign as we encourage everyone to get out and enjoy the water.
And, as a thank you to our veterans and reservists, American Sailing is offering a discount to any service member who wants to take up sailing through our Veterans Sailing Education Program. Sailing can be a healing, therapeutic, and adventurous environment to reset your lifestyle.
As a sailor, you are a steward for the world’s oceans. You’ll work to protect the playground you so desire to be on. American Sailing’s Plastic Pollution Purge has worked to raise awareness of our plastic problem and continues to spread the word about advocacy amongst the sailing community.
More Compelling Reasons to Sail:
- Endless Learning. Sailing is a lifelong learning journey. No matter your experience level, there is always something new to learn. Whether you are mastering the basics of navigation, learning to read weather patterns, or fine-tuning your sail trim, there is always room for improvement.
- Challenge Yourself. Sailing is a great way to challenge yourself and grow as a person.
- Explore Your Adventurous Side. Unleash your inner explorer, discovering new anchorages and foreign sailing destinations while you conquer the elements and master the art of seamanship.
- Embrace the Outdoors. Sailing connects you with nature and allows you to experience the beauty of the world from a new perspective.
- Join the Sailing Community. On your way to becoming an Old Salt, you will meet new friends and embrace the sailing culture. You will engage in regattas and races, uniting with others who share your love for the sea. Eventually, you might even become an American Sailing Instructor.
Why Do Others Sail?
Captain Joe Mastrangelo of Veterans Sailing Association: “For the same reason I breathe…….I have to. Sailing has conditioned me both mentally, physically and spiritually – it has forged my soul into a new positive direction. I have always been a waterman (born and raised in South Florida) so this was the next logical route – couple this with the ability to help guide other members of our military and you have a win-win situation for all.”
Captain Stacey Brooks of Sea Dog Sailing: “I sail to truly and remotely see this beautiful world. I sail to meet intriguing people, experience different cultures and eat/drink great food and wine. But probably the biggest reason I sail is to prove to myself and other people (and especially women!) that they can do it. Be scared – it’s ok. As the saying goes, cast off those lines! You can’t sail a boat while it’s sitting in the harbor. Taking one chance in 1995 shifted my world and I can’t express how happy it has made me or explain in full the things I have seen and experienced!”
Captain Anne Alberg of San Juan Sailing: “I have a boat and the time, and I can’t think of any reason not to.”
Do you need any more motivation? It’s the middle of summer and July is National Learn to Sail month so the time is now!