This past weekend I worked on a traditional wooden schooner (pictured above) sailing along the east coast of Nova Scotia up to Cape Breton. Continually being exposed to the world of sailing has made me realize the opportunity which boating has for the independent traveler.Have you every thought of owning your own sail boat? These are some of the many reasons why owning and traveling in your own sail boat can be so appealing to the independent traveler.
1. You really are completely independent and free to travel at will
Unlike other forms of transportation, sailing enables you to pick up and drop anchor where ever you like. On a moments notice you can travel almost anywhere in the world. The only thing stopping you is not the cost of travel (as it costs the same traveling as staying at anchor), but your ambition to take on another challenge.
2. Sailing can be very cheap
If you live aboard your boat, you can get away without paying any housing costs. Many sailors will come to shore to stock up on food (usually more rum then food truth be told) and then go back out to a local inlet for the night. This means that you are living for FREE and usually cooking and eating your own food which makes it very inexpensive. Also the best part of sailing is that your actual transportation cost is FREE. Instead of either paying for a bus, train, airline, or even fuel for your motorboat, it is the wind which whisks you across the sea to your next destination.
3. You WILL have an adventure
Talk to any seamen and you are bound to hear some fantastic tale of their high adventure on the seas. The ocean is such a challenging environment that it is always stimulating and exciting.
4. You WILL meet quirky and interesting people
It takes a certain type of person to forgo life on land for that of the sea, but those that do are usually of a fascinating and knowledgeable character. Through various ports of call where you re-provision, you are bound to fall into a unique and diverse community of independently minded nomads who drift between countries and communities.
5. You can do it!
Like everything else in life, the greatest difficulty is the initial step of becoming involved. Also like everything else, it is a very simple step. One way of getting involved is to go down to the docks of your nearest port and start wandering around the sailboats or post a sign in your local sailing club saying that you are willing to volunteer as crew.
There are many boats which are delivered throughout the eastern and western seaboard that would gladly take a volunteer (Although there is a problem if your landlocked in lets say Iowa). Within a few months you should develop enough skills to know what kind of a boat you would be interested in and where you would like to go. If you can get a loan then your loan payments should be about the same as your regular housing costs.