We don’t have to remind you that currently the hot topic in the news is the Corona Virus (COVID-19) but we could shed some light on how we think it affects the sailing community. After all, when we get on a boat and the breeze fills the main, we feel the tug of nature on the boat and our body; it is hard to imagine that anything can harm us. Sailing often takes us into a state of euphoria.
It’s a great feeling but is that accurate? Are we safe out on the ocean and free of the contagion? Sailing is often a refuge from our life. Sailing takes us away from the ordinary.
Our Facebook page is a spot for sailors to interact with each other and engage in conversation about the thing we love most. Sailing!
So, we asked why you love sailing and the results all followed a similar theme. Take a look and share your thoughts with us on Social Media.
An ASA instructor from LTD Sailing in Grenada explained her love of sailing in possibly the best way ever:
“For me, sailing is more than just a past time, it’s a way of life. It’s freedom, it’s adventure, it’s exploration and travel, it’s being more in tune with nature, your environment and the impact you have upon it, it’s peace and quiet – wind, waves, sunsets, sunrises and stars, along with all the amazing creatures that live above and below the surface, it’s also an intense challenge and an indescribable feeling when you overcome your fears and realize you are capable of more than you ever thought possible, it’s a whole new world of friends, like-minded people from completely different walks of life that understand you in a way even your closest friends and family do not, it’s being master of your own little floating universe – ultimate independence and therefore ultimate responsibility falls on you, and lastly for me personally, it’s the closest I’ve ever felt to God and am in complete awe of His awesome power and amazing creation.” – Jenni Hellpap, LTD Sailing
Why People Love To Sail (From our Facebook Page)
Michael Franclemont “I love the moment the engines are cut and the boat is completely under sail, the feeling of oneness with the wind, oneness with nature.”
Boa Smith “This is how I waste my money. Some people drink, some collect stamps. Me. I sail.”
Eric Vasquez “It’s not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that’s what a ship needs but what a ship is… what the Black Pearl really is… is freedom.” – Captain Jack Sparrow
Rachael Ropel Herrenbruck “Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be. Just a dream and the wind to carry me. And soon I will be free.”
Patricia Oemig “You cut the engine, turn the rudder, and the sails fill, you feel the power up…the lift of the boat as the sail and keel slice through wind and water. All my senses are alert to every movement and sound, looking for what’s ahead. I’m alive!!!”
“It’s my happy place.”
David Hastie “It’s the ability to harness the wind and travel to wonderful destinations to have fun and do interesting things. Travel the world… with man’s FIRST wings…”
Kent Heinrich “When I’m on the tiller is the interaction of the wind, sail and resistance of the keel and rudder to move, when I’m below its the sound of the water on the hull and the creaks and sounds of my vessel.”
At ASA we understand that we are stewards for the sea. It is our responsibility to do our best to promote healthy oceans and environmental awareness. We love to sail because we love the water and with that comes the duty to make sure that we protect our waterways. Our Plastic Pollution Purge campaign aims to increase awareness about single-use plastics and the harm they have on our oceans.
We love the wind in our hair, the feeling of solitude when out on the ocean and the rush of adrenaline when lining up for a race and at the American Sailing Association we get to share the love of sailing with people every single day. Introducing this lifestyle to others is one of our greatest loves.
Of course, having an excuse to listen to Jimmy Buffet non-stop is also a huge reason we sail.
Not long ago I watched as a pair of newlyweds hired my 12-year-old to teach them how to sail. We were on vacation and my two boys had been zipping across the horizon for over an hour and as they sailed the Hobie Cat back onto the sand the newly married couple negotiated a chartered cruise right on the spot. My son, ever the opportunist, jumped aboard, handed them life vests and explained where the couple would sit. He then had his younger brother give them a gentle push off the shore. Just like that, the couple was on a cruise of the warm waters of the Caribbean with their own private skipper.
I don’t recommend getting on a boat with a 12-year-old that you don’t know.
What you should do is get your own sailing certification. ASA 101 gives you the basic knowledge so that when you are sipping mai tais on a secluded beach and you see a boat for rent you will have the confidence to sail it all on your own.
These are five spots where you will encounter the right amount of wind, the right size boat and the perfect place for you to test out the sailing skills that you gained in ASA 101.
Charles River – Boston
Sit alongside the Charles River in the middle of summer and you’ll see the sailboats darting across from the Longfellow bridge up to the Massachusetts Ave bridge. Community Boating located on the south shore just a few steps from the Hatch Memorial Shell rents boats daily. You can choose from 4-person Cape Cod Keel Mercury and 5-person Rhodes 19 sailboats. Rentals are on a first come first served basis and are available to anyone over the age of 18 with prior sailing experience. Candidates are interviewed by the dock master on duty.
When your sailing day is done make sure to take a walk around the Boston Commons, follow the Freedom Trail or just pop into the Cheers Bar for a selfie at the bar, all are within walking distance to the dock.
If you like the ease of setting off within the protected waters of a harbor or marina these spots in Southern California make for an easy day of getting on the water and working your ASA 101 skills. Both offer rentals by the hour and they each are located in protected waters that help you stay focused on keeping your sails full. In San Diego, they also offer larger boats for multi-day cruising for the more experienced sailor who has moved into ASA 103 or ASA 104.
When your sailing day is done in Marina Del Rey venture to the nearby Abbot Kinney neighborhood for posh lunch spots and eclectic shopping options. You can’t miss a stroll through the canals of Venice or a walk along the infamous Venice boardwalk.
In San Diego, the Gaslamp quarter is home to a bevy of options that range from romantic dinner spots to high energy gastropubs that feature the regions popular craft beer scene. Also within walking distance from the water is San Diego’s Little Italy that boasts patios alive with diners, plenty of pedestrian-friendly piazzas and Waterfront Park where the view of the bay is almost as good as being on the water.
Push off the sand in Grace Bay and you’ll be hard pressed to keep your eye on the horizon as the clarity of the water creates an optical illusion and you’ll feel like you are sailing along in shallow depths. The shades of blue mixed in with the white sand below make for a feast for the eyes. The wind is dependable and with very little current or swells, the Hobie cats in this area can get moving at an exhilarating speed. All along this tourist corridor, you will find small activities shacks that offer up sailboat rentals by the hour. A few hotels on Grace Bay have their own fleet that are free to use for guests of the hotel. This is not uncommon in the Caribbean from the Bahamas to Barbados.
Your visit to Burlington, Vermont will be enhanced with a few hours on the lake sailing a 23’ Sonar across Burlington Bay. Community Sailing Center rents an assortment of boats from entry level dinghies for one to two people up to 23-foot keelboats for up to six sailors. Summer rentals are popular and they take reservations for their keelboats in 2-hour time slots.
When your sailing day is done you’ll have to visit Church Street Marketplace in downtown Burlington. With what seems like an endless supply of food, shopping and entertainment options the marketplace is great for a full day of window shopping and snacking. Craft beer is popular in these parts and of course Ben & Jerry ‘s got their start nearby.
Sail the calm waters of the Florida Keys and utilize your ASA 101 talents as you embark on an adventure near Key Largo. They even offer a cottage and sail package where you fill your day with unlimited daysailing and end the night in a beachfront cottage. If you wanted to work on your sailing education they are an ASA school as well.
When your sailing day is done explore the Florida Everglades by kayak or by airboat. You can indulge in conch at one of the many restaurants along the overseas highway or watch the sunset from a beach bar with a view of Pelican Key.
Okay, you’ve checked out of 101, 103 & 104 and the sailing fever is still burning strong. You need to either check into a hospital or buy your first boat – you choose the latter. But what kind should you get? The magazines and websites have you drooling over boats that have tempted you with their sex appeal or indestructible capabilities and you are leaning in every direction.
Kim Walther started her sailing life as just a little bean and has continued throughout her entire life, so it’s no surprise that she has and still does make her living on the water, tacking and jibing nearly every day. She began as a toddler sailing the Bahamas with her parents and never stopped. She sailed in high school, was on the team in college and during that time achieved a 100-ton Captain’s license. Continue reading →
Oh Yes. The snow is in our proverbial wake and now it’s time to get at that pre-launch spring checklist. We’ve highlighted seven big ones that should be considered. Don’t think of it as work! It’s caring for a lovely old friend. Do it right and have a great spring and summer season of sailing!
Once you get through the ASA 101 course and are beginning to experience sailing in a more second nature sort of way, you may want to challenge yourself to a sailboat race. Racing is a great way to accelerate the learning curve. It mandates all of the lessons into a short amount of time, with the power of consequence as a motivating factor. On a normal round the buoy race sailors are forced to make sail changes, tack, assess the conditions and maximize performance every step of the way. Some don’t care for the pressure it can bring about, but a few sailboat races is great for learning the ropes quickly. Here are eight tips for the first time sailboat racer that will make the challenge a bit more manageable and a little less daunting: