Many ask the reason why there are thousands of people that leave the comforts and security of a land based existence to venture out into the open ocean for days and sometimes weeks at a time. Living on a boat has many compromises including space restriction and many comforts that we take for granted on land. The question then must be asked, why? If going out on a sailboat means giving up so many comforts and having to adapt to a marine environment which can be unpredictable and sometimes even scary then why do so many decide that, despite all the negatives, life under sail is worth it.
Having experienced the addicting feeling of flying through the wind during beautiful, sunny days and starry nights; Having felt the absolute relaxation of days at sea that can be compared only to deep joyous meditation at times. Feeling how the boat cuts through the sea and the waves and how you seem to have a connection with your ship and it almost feels like the waves are caressing the boat’s hull for days that seem to slow time down and the only thing that matters is how you feel at that moment in time. I know why we choose this life style and I believe every cruiser shares this passion for the sea. There is nothing more beautiful than a sailboat, it automatically takes your imagination to that dreamer part of you that yearns for adventure and romance. It is inside all of us.
Not all experiences on a sailboat are slow paced and relaxing, to be out there means that at some point you will undoubtedly experience the other end of the emotional spectrum, those moments of high anxiety when your adrenaline shoots up way high, usually when you are surfing down monster waves in what seems to be an angry sea intent on testing your courage and stamina for days and nights. All cruisers have these war stories and it’s almost like bragging rights when you experience one of these moments out there but the truth is that they are very rare and your tolerance for them increases with your confidence and experience. The adrenaline junkies among us, actually, look forward to these moments and view them as an exciting part of the great adventure we’ve embarked on.
Cruising is not perfect and it may not be for everyone but for those adventurous, romantic souls that dream of sailing into the sunset beyond the horizon and are willing to work to prepare and acquire the skills necessary to do so in relative safety, it can be a wonderfully spiritual experience that is both challenging and rewarding at the same time with absolutely endless possibilities. It’s a test of any relationship as you’ll have to work as a team and live with each other in a confined space for long periods of time and at times during highly stressful situations but if you pass, if you overcome your own fears and self doubts, you will experience new versions of you that you never knew could exist, your relationship will become stronger and your desire for more will only grow. Your self-confidence, your patience, your ability to handle any situation that may come up will only grow and just maybe, when it’s all over, many, many years from now, and you look back at the things you did and how you lived your life, a smile will come to your face. Fair Winds