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March 5, 2016 Geography, How to, Sailing

Sailing the Blue Mind

There comes a time in a man’s life when he hears the call of the sea. If the man has a brain in his head, he will hang up the phone immediately. –Dave Barry

Blue SkyThat explains why many people are reluctant to buy a boat, much less board one. Despite the lure of the sea, it can be difficult to deal with in practical terms. Cruise ships are popular because they combine the sea with a luxury trip, as long as the captain doesn’t run aground (Greece) or into a nor’easter (Carolinas). Yachts are too expensive to buy and maintain. Dinghies are too small and tippy. But a mid-sized boat of 30-35 feet is a perfect way to experience sailing while for a weekend or while on vacation.

Blue 1A California research associate by the name of Wallace J. Nichols wrote a comprehensive new book with the expansive title of “Blue Mind—The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at what you do.” Nichols describes sailing as a difficult challenge by referring to the world race I wrote about in the previous post.

“A 1968 solo nonstop circumnavigation race had nine competitors, only one of whom finished the race… But despite all the dangers and obstacles, something draws these men and women to boats and the sea: ‘…sailing is a dance, and your partner is the sea,’ writes Michael Morpurgo, author of Alone on a Wide Wide Sea. ‘And with the sea you never take liberties. You ask her, you don’t tell her. You have to remember always that she’s the leader, not you. You and your boat are dancing to her tune.’

Nichols continues, “That music is sweet in its melody. And for every sailor destroyed by extreme conditions, there are hundreds of millions who discover that the ocean not only resuscitates but also enhances.”

Such is the experience of charter sailing, all along the East Coast. Every year thousands of couples and families experience sailing on a sound boat in nature’s spectacular surroundings. No solo ocean crossings for these people, just an afternoon of high adventure in safe, comfortable conditions.

Back in Williamsburg, the sailing season opens Saturday, March 12.

Let’s go sail. To see the rates and reserve a date this spring for a sailboat charter, click here. To check out reviews from sailors,  click here. To become a crew member on a charter sail or to tell us your sailing story, click here.

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