What could be more nautical than sailing?
Answer: Not much, especially given that most dictionaries translate “nautical” as relating to sailors, ships, navigation and the sea, with “sailors” generally coming first within the definition.
So, “Getting Nauti” could almost be considered a synonym for “getting sailing.” Of course, we at Getting Nauti cherish all maritime aspects derived from the word “nautical,” so thus, we’re not going to get seagulled—ahem, we mean “pigeonholed”—by just one aspect of the word.
Nevertheless, we love sailing and certainly do honor it, as evidenced by our “Love for Sail” and “Fair Winds and Following Seas” designs.
Love For Sail Collection
Fair Winds Collection
And what’s not to love about sailing?
OK, OK, seasickness, storms, sunburn, the complicated lingo, being becalmed, running aground, potential capsize, waterspouts, and just about any other water-born peril, as most seem to be more likely to happen on a sailboat than on any other sea craft.
But really, sailing represents an ultimate freedom. Once you slip your lines and head out to sea you are free of land-based constraints and only responsible for yourself and your boat.
Right, and any crew, too. And yeah, that “ultimate freedom” is pretty much null and void if you happen to be part of the crew. In fact, should you be sailing under a Captain Bligh-styled skipper then sailing is likely an exercise in servitude and oppression. Throw in some bad weather and seasickness and you’ll likely define sailing as “abject misery.”
Sheesh—we’ve got to stop with the digression!
OK, so you have to earn that “ultimate freedom” that comes with sailing by serving as crew and enduring some rough voyages. How else are you going to learn the art? It’s not like you can just hop on a sailboat, hoist the sails and successfully take off for Aruba. It’s quite a bit more complicated than driving a motor boat and not something you can pick up by reading a book (though a bit of book knowledge can certainly up your game). Nope, to become proficient in sailing one needs to go through an apprenticeship, and that’s where serving as crew comes in handy…even if under the tutelage of a Captain Bligh.
Once you’ve served that apprenticeship, figured out how to successfully “come about,” and learned some 10,000 other elements of the art, you will be ready to experience that ultimate freedom that comes from sailing. That is, after you’ve surrendered the beaucoup coins you’re going to need for a sailboat and all its associated gear….
Moving on…you’ve learned the art, secured the sailboat, slipped the lines, headed out to sea and are feeling the sense of ultimate freedom. That is, until the Coast Guard boards you for a safety equipment check, or to make sure that your bilge isn’t packed with Bolivian marching powder (In south Florida just about every sailor’s a suspected smuggler)….
Coast Guard Inspection
But really, other than occasional Coast Guard intrusions or dealing with (oft-inane) shore-based bureaucracies, sailing on the high seas is the ultimate freedom. As the skipper of a sailboat, you are generally only beholden to the boat, the weather and the crew. And, even if only serving as lowly crew, most skippers are fairly easygoing as long as you devote allegiance to the sailboat and course sailed.
Sailing - The Ultimate Freedom
But don’t take this notion of sailing being the “ultimate freedom” from us, take it from the experts. Read three of our favorite sailing books and see if they don’t spur the inherent sailing passion within you:
Sailing Alone Around the World
The classic true story about the first person to sail around the world solo—old guy slips his lines, enjoys the ultimate freedom, and succinctly describes why it is so liberating.
Godforsaken Sea: The True Story of a Race Through the World’s Most Dangerous Waters
Pretty much a description of abject terror. Fantastic read that details just about everything one needs to know about what it is like to participate in the Vendee Globe, the round-the-world, single-handed yacht race considered among the most gruelling competitions of all racing sports. After reading you’ll either want to start training for the race or swear you’ll never ever go near a sailboat.
Hard to find this old classic, but the ultimate true tale of freedom at sea—the equivalent of Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn heading up to Newfoundland in a 30-foot sloop.
If you read any of these books you are going to discover that their tone and message are similar to this blog, in that they will alternately excite your interest in sailing and/or make you want to run screaming from the very idea.
Even if the latter, you can always just pick up the “Getting Nauti” T-shirt and pretend to worship the ideal of ultimate freedom.