What do you think of when you think of sailing?
For me, “Adventure” is the first thing that comes to mind and its the same reason I like things like surfing, camping, roadtrips, flying, even things like beach combing!
I look out at a big bay, river, or even an ocean and wonder what really cool places I could explore and what kind of hidden treasures could be found!
Good reasons to become a good sailor: Why we work hard to learn the sailing skills?
There are many great reasons to learn the skills needed to be competent on the water. Let’s look at a few and understand the “Why”, or reason for busting our tails to learn something new and sometimes awkward, until we get the hang of it. Many worthwhile things are like sailing, a little awkward and difficult at first. Once you get it wired, all of a sudden it makes sense. Here are some other good reasons for becoming a good sailor!
Adventure! When you learn the basics and gain confidence, pretty soon you will be able to go out on your own with friends or family and explore. I love to explore small islands and beaches where the tourists are not able to access by car. Yes you can also do this with a kayak, paddleboard or canoe, but not when the wind and waves pickup. You can sail in just about any weather condition. America was discovered by sailors, either Vikings or Spanish Explorers… not sure which, but both had to get here by boats propelled by sail. Powerboats are cool too. Fast and exciting, but the gas tank limits how far you can go and if the engine breaks down, your stuck and will have to call for help. The idea that I could sail all around the Caribbean and even across the Ocean, can keep me daydreaming indefinitely.
Fun! Once you get over the initial learning challenges, sailing becomes really fun. Its not without work and not for the lazy. Its hard work and good excersize. I like it much better than running laps or working out in a Gym because I think its healthier to be out in nature on the water soaking up some vitamin D! You will get some bruises and your hands will hurt from pulling lines. Sometimes it may be cold and wet. But in general, sailing requires us to inadvertantly have fun while we learn alot about how it works and how to become better.
Islands surrounded by water
You live on an Island surrounded by water! Being good on the water means understanding the weather, currents, tides, dangers, as well as the capacity of you and your gear to handle these things, and especially when you should be safe and not try to go out. Great surfers dont just surf. They normally also do other things like sailing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, snowboarding, skateboarding and even go to the gym and workout to get in shape. In Hawaii, the surfers were not just surfers, they were expert watermen, who relied on the Ocean for food and sustenance.
An ideal sport for Hatteras
Ideal Sport for Small Island Communities! – On Hatteras Island, our big team sports are a hard challenge that we can probably never take to the highest level of competition simply because our population is too small and our sports teams in schools are lacking enough competition amongst the kids in comparison to bigger city schools. Sailing is an individual sport, where just one person has the opportunity and access to be the best in the World…. all you have to do is practice and want to learn!
Cool jobs, fun careers
Occupations in Sailing are more fun than Office Jobs! – We all have to grow up and figure out how to make money. You can make good money doing exciting things on sailboats and in the sailing industry. At a young age, good knowledgeable sailors can make money teaching other kids to sail (Sailing Instructor). At 16 years old, you can get a Captains License, and take people out sailing on sailboat charters (Boat Captain). As I got better at sailing, I wanted to enjoy racing and competitions and became a paid tactician of race boats. This led to getting into Sailmaking and Boatbuilding… lots of beautiful boats are being built in Wanchese and other places nearby. The list of fun sailing related jobs is pretty endless. But the pay is usually pretty good. In the Virgin Islands, for instance, I would make an average of $2500 per week as a charter captain. With this I didnt have to work every week and had many weeks off where I could go on surfing trips and other fun stuff with friends. Most office jobs require you to work 50 weeks per year, with only 2 weeks time off, other than weekends. High paying professional jobs, have harder expectations and longer hours.
Meet a challenge and gain confidence
Sailboat Racing is really challenging. As with most things you never stop learning. Competitions are the ultimate challenge of your body and mind. Sailing is not just a mechanical sport…. it requires understanding of many different areas, such as the racing rules, weather, sail science and engineering, boat rigging, rig tuning and adjustment, learning your competition’s strengths and weaknesses.
Learning to be resourceful
As the song says, “If it weren’t for Rum. Pirates would probably rule the World”. Because you have to be smart and resourceful to be good on a sailboat and the sea. Successful Pirates were also savvy with politics, competition, and knowing the weaknesses of their competition and how to capitalize on it. Can you think of any examples?