Im a competitive sailor and a coach of people with disabilities, a kids' learn to sail coach, and a race coach. I spend a lot of time doing and thinking about sailing and being on the water.
Sailors or boaties like me are often labelled for life - we have caught 'the sailing bug', we are the 'old salts', the old sea dogs, and the ocean addicts.
But the truth is you don't need to be an 'old salt' or even a 'new salt' to be a sailor. In fact you only need a couple of hours out of your time every now and then to enjoy the calmness of going back to nature, back to basics, to float on the sea, river or lake.
You don't need a road map for sailing, nor do you need all the jargon. You need to know how to read a weather forecast, to read the tide timetable and to know what your wind limit is.
You can learn sailing, have fun on the water and find secluded places inaccessible to land lovers. All great for the mind, soul and body.
Yes, there are skills to learn. But if you pick the right sailing conditions and the right boat to learn on, with a bit of effort and guidance you will be sailing!
The TIWAL is a great boat to learn on, and have fun on, and visit places on!
I am a New Zealand sailor who learned to sail in the beautiful Malborough Sounds and then went onto represent NZ at the 2000 Olympics.