Ocean Sailing

Written by Jen Nichol
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Ocean sailing is a world apart from lake excursions. Weather, which tests every sailor's abilities, comes up fast and sometimes furious on the ocean, necessitating a whole different skill level. You have to become comfortable losing sight of land and depending on different types of navigation techniques to stay your course.

Ocean sailing can mean different things to different people. Some think of coastal cruising, keeping land in sight. Others think of longer, offshore excursions, which require more knowledge of navigation and storm procedures. Still others think of "destination" sailing, which can mean something as simple as heading to the Bahamas from Ft. Lauderdale, to something as involved as sailing to Hawaii or points beyond.

Ocean Sailing Is a Different Ballgame

Anyone who ocean sails can lake sail, but not necessarily vice versa. Lakes like Tahoe, Superior, and the Belvedere Lagoon have their own sailing cultures, but you will never be faced with some of the situations you will see out in open water. Your thinking and handling of the craft must be quicker, more decisive, with real knowledge and experience behind it--not just intuition.

Whatever your ocean sailing desires, there are schools to help you learn everything you need to know to be a proud, confident, and accomplished sailor. Despite the mystique of sailing, everything aboard can be learned, and learned in a quick, effective manner. From weather watching to simple sailing etiquette, a good school can get you up to the speed you need to head out into open water.

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