Having previously learnt the basics sailing a dinghy on the Norfolk broads, I now set my sights on something larger. With that in mind I got in touch with Hercules Sailing School in Gibraltar and booked myself onto an RYA Competent Crew Course.
The course lasted five days and saw a group of us sail around Southern Spain and the Strait of Gibraltar. It was a blast, and there was great camaraderie on board.
Unfortunately I didn’t get as much video as I’d have liked, since I there to learn rather than document, but I did get enough to put together the the film below. Enjoy.
Why I’ve decided to take up sailing
I’m a big overland traveller, and adventure motorcyclist. It’s the ability to go anywhere and do anything that really appeals to me. After all, what better way is there to get to know a country than by tackling some of its most inhospitable terrain on two wheels?
It was on an overland trip through France, this time via bicycle, that it occurred to me, “Well perhaps there is a another, equally thrilling way to travel overland.” What about by boat? Perhaps busting my gut cycling 80 plus miles in 37c heat had something to do with it, but watching the sail boats drop their mast and cruise gently along the Loire, convinced me that I wanted to go sailing.
My reasoning was simple. I love travel, I love overland travel, and I love adventure. Unfortunately it’s becoming increasingly difficult/expensive to ship a motorcycle out to many of the places I would like to ride. It can be near impossible to buy a bike abroad, and due to political problems, some of the best riding areas are now war zones.
I know what you’re thinking. You sail on seas, on lakes, on oceans, seldom on land, but by overlanding I simply mean travelling on the surface of the earth, however it might present itself. And by that rationale I consider sailing the ultimate in overland travel.
Like motorcycling, you have the freedom to go almost anywhere. More freedom when consider being in International Waters. You’ve got the isolation, the feeling of the wind on your face, but also some of the comforts of home. A roof over your head, weather protection, and a reasonably comfy bed. What’s more, save for diesel and some provisioning, there is the opportunity to live off the grid for large periods at a time. Yes it’s expensive, and things break all the time, but that’s not really all that different from maintaining a house, and a motorcycle (KTM/BMW) at the same time.
Hopefully both motorcycling and sailing will be a part of my life and travels moving forward. Just not at the time obviously.