Sailors in every corner of the world are taking the ocean’s plastic problem into their own hands, or rather, into their own nets. Balloons, bags, bottles, ghost nets, and all kinds of plastic trash are being pulled out of the water by boaters everywhere, but what if we could do something more with all that trash?
This is where 5 Gyres comes in. Named after the five swirling masses of plastic “soup” in the world’s oceans, 5 Gyres is a science-to-solutions organization collecting data on the millions of tons of plastic out in the big blue and using the results to pass plastic bans and hold the producers accountable.
I got to catch up with their Advocacy and Education Director, Melissa Aguayo, to learn more about what 5 Gyres is up to and how sailors can get in on the action.
So you’ve checked out of ASA 101, 103 and you’re in the middle of completing 104. You know you like this sailing stuff and you also know that you are going to buy a boat of your own. Yachtworld.com has been bookmarked and your lunch breaks are spent scrolling, clicking and dreaming. We understand. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider buying a sailboat. Continue reading →
On this momentous date, the Twelfth of December, Two-Thousand and Twelve, also known as 12/12/12, we want to count down 12 reasons why we love sailing! Please feel free to add your own in the comments.
Without further ado, here we go, in no particular order.
Twelve Things We Love About Sailing
1. The history and tradition.
When you go sailing, you’re continuing a tradition more than 3,000 years old. Sailing and sailboats are some of the most important inventions in human history, and have been pivotal in migration, trade, warfare, and enjoyment. Today we mainly focus on the latter!
2. The sense of pride and achievement that comes with learning to sail.
There really is nothing like the feeling of becoming the master of your own boat. Whether it’s a 22 foot keelboat on a local lake, or a massive ocean cruiser, skippering a boat is a great achievement.
3. Giving orders. (Politely.)
Gone are the days of cruel old barnacle-covered captains (well, maybe not completely). But giving and following orders, even in a casual setting, is still important and can be a lot of fun. You get to use salty sailing terminology, practice clear communication, and get a tremendous feeling of satisfaction when everyone does their part and a tack or gybe comes off perfectly.
4. All the great books and movies about sailing.
From Moby-Dick to Master and Commander, sailing has given a lot to the culture. We previously ran down some of the best sailing books on this blog, so check that out!
5. Feeling the boat accelerate when you get your sail trim just right.
Some call this “getting in the groove,” or finding the “sweet spot.” You feel the motion of the boat level out, the speed picks up, and you’re cruising along smoothly. Maybe we’ll just call it the “sweet groove.”
6. Good company.
Many of the world’s problems have been solved by sailors talking late into the night in the cockpit–unfortunately, they never seem to remember those solutions in the morning. But that’s no matter–a sailing trip is one of the best bonding experiences ever, bringing friends and family closer, and turning perfect strangers into lifelong pals.
On the other hand, sailing is also great for the opportunity to spend some time alone. Leave the noise, confusion, and stress of the world behind for a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks, and experience the freedom of solitude.
8. Flotillas and sailing vacations.
Seeing new places is a huge part of the attraction of sailing. As your sailing skills improve, you’ll have more and more confidence and opportunity to explore new places, including all of the amazing ASA flotilla destinations around the world.
9. The community.
Sailors and cruisers are a close-knit bunch. They share the good times, and help each other out in times of need. ASA is extremely proud to be a part of the sailing community with our 300 schools and huge membership.
10. The tropical islands.
You know exactly what we’re talking about: The BVIs. St. Martin and the Antilles. Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora. The Whitsundays. This is a list that could go on and on! Bottom line is that beaches, warm water, snorkeling, and tropical drinks go hand-in-hand with sailing.
11. Finding places with ZERO cell phone reception.
Sure, these days you can still get 5 bars in the middle of the ocean sometimes. But sailing is one of the few ways left to truly disconnect from the pace of life for a little while and let your mind wander in the relative peace and quiet of the wind and waves.
12. The never-ending search for the next adventure.