Dream of freedom on the open waves?

The polar opposite of being chained to your desk must be standing by the wheel on the deck of your own boat. Even if you enjoy your job you’re trapped in that one space, between the same four walls, glancing, like taking tiny sips out the window, instead of drunk on the freedom of space and the potentially ever changing vista of the great open highways of the sea.

OK. That was an incredibly romantic way to imagine sailing, but there’s a long tradition behind the idea of boats being the harbingers of humanity’s true freedom. I think the passion for travel that’s burgeoned into the collective belly in the last few generations is just an extension of boat lust.

Frankly I’ve always wanted my own boat, not a metal one with an outboard motor like my Dad’s but a white one with sails that billow and ropes I have to tie in special knots. I dream of popping from pretty island port to pretty island port, gorging on the health giving properties of a fisherman’s diet of fish, waves, ocean air and patience. From postcard perfect Polynesian seas of bright blue to the vividly evoked storms of Turner’s greens and greys, it’s the unpredictable nature of the ocean that I fancy, the drama of it. Roads so reliably finish somewhere, making a road trip a bit of a foregone conclusion, but the ocean potentially stretches to the shore and it could easily turn out not to be the shore you’re expecting.

You don’t have to be a sea dog to be caught up in the dream of a holiday on your own boat, there are companies that will provide you with a crew if it’s adventure you’re looking for, or a boat that even a beginner can master if you’re not after much more than a leisurely bob round the islands. ‘Skipper’ sounds an appealing title to adopt doesn’t it.

Like the fresh, salt sprinkled air, a sailing trip reeks of freedom, even a canal jaunt equals time to yourself and progress at your own pace in a way that few other journeys can match. It’s a holiday from everything but history and the great outdoors.

More great sailing journeys

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