Where would we be without sailing? As old as 3500 BC, sailing has helped civilisations develop over thousands of years with the ability for people to sail across oceans to settle and trade. Indeed, without sailing and sailboats, we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy exotic spices, coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, or tobacco that are so ingrained in our culture today. Of course, Britain did become rather good at sailing between the 18th and the early 20th centuries, with the Royal Navy commanding the sea and ruling the waves! And more recently, we haven’t done too badly at the Olympics either, currently holding the record for the most medals won in sailing. So, it goes without saying that Britain should hold one of the longest-running annual regattas in the world, Cowes Week—a sailing extravaganza for all abilities to race and enjoy! So, whether it’s a leisurely pastime or a professional sport, Balmy Fox delves into the appeal, the passion and why we should all get out on the ocean waves once in a while!
Types of Sailing
Sailing takes the form of cruising or racing, with most people preferring leisurely inland sailing, where you can enjoy sailboats on predictably safe waters such as rivers and lakes. When sailing at sea, there are three types; coastal (in sight of land), offshore (within range of land but out of view), and bluewater sailing, where you’re cruising the ocean waves, leaving it all behind.
Where to start as a Novice Sailor
If you’re just starting out or dipping your sailing toe in the water, then an excellent place to begin is inland sailing, where waters tend to be safer. They offer the easiest conditions, and it’s usually cheaper, requiring the least amount of equipment. With coastal, offshore, and ocean blue water, you’ll have tides and high waves to consider!
So, what's the Appeal of Sailing?
Sailing can be an invigorating sport that’s good for your body and your mental health, with so much fun being had at the same time. Just imagine the wind in your sails—and hair, a gorgeous breeze on your face and the gentle motions of the boat traversing the ocean waves. The perfect place away from the world where you can settle your mind. And if you’re sailing alone, you’ll have solitude with nature allowing you to really connect with the environment around you. And if you bring friends or family along for the ride, you can enjoy company with loved ones at the same time—doesn’t it sound like the perfect pastime?
Indeed, sailors often say they gain a profound sense of calm when sailing. Their boat becomes a completely self-contained bubble, with the world outside becoming a distant memory. Time simply slows down, allowing for reflection and mindfulness away from the busy world and rat race we’re all familiar with. Perhaps that’s why they say once you try sailing, you never look back!
Another rather tempting advantage to sailing is that it allows you to visit so many different places and unique spots in a short period of time, with the possibility of waking up every day in a new destination with a different view. You certainly can’t get that on a two-week vacation in Malaga!
Sail Racing: Cowes Week
The other side to leisure sailing is competitive racing aimed at those with ambition and adrenaline running through their sailing veins. And with Cowes Week coming up at the end of July, there will be plenty of racing to enjoy! Cowes Week is one of the world’s oldest and most respected regattas. The week-long event attracts up to 1000 boats and 8000 competitors ranging from world-class professionals and Olympians to weekend sailors. In addition, there’ll be 40 daily sailing races taking place from 30 July right through to 5 August—plenty of sailing for serious sailors and novices alike!
Sailing Safely: Sailors Natural Skincare
Of course, being on the ocean waves means you can quite easily forget to cover the basics. You get so caught up in nature and the excitement that your skin’s the last thing you think about. Unfortunately, with the gorgeous blue skies comes UV radiation from the sun, and that calming, gentle breeze can often have a drying effect on the skin. So, it makes sensible logic not to upset the dreamy weekend away sailing with sunburn or itchy dry skin, and Balmy Fox has some super products that will make taking care of your skin second nature.
Our SPF water-resistant sailors suncream and lip balm will tirelessly protect your delicate skin from the harmful UVA and UVB rays, whilst our super luscious hand and foot repair cream is a sailors moisturiser that’s deeply nourishing. The natural formulation delivers hydrating relief and natural healing properties for dry or cracked skin, especially with the hands doing most of the work! And for intensive on-the-spot dry skin relief, keep our compact Balm Bar close by for instant hydration and repair, all-natural, organic ingredients with no chemical nasties—skincare that’s good for you, plastic-free and environmentally friendly!
Did you know: The Everyday Sailing Terms!
Just for a bit of historical sailing fun, we’ve encountered some common sayings that originate from sailing we thought we’d share with you: For instance, Feeling blue originates from when a ship lost its captain during a voyage. Sailors would sail blue flags to indicate their loss.
A loose cannon is a sailing term that referred to an unsecured cannon aboard a ship. At 1500kg or so, it could do quite a bit of damage, hence the saying, ‘they’re a loose cannon’.
Lastly, the term sonofagun is actually a reference to birthplace and was given to unclaimed children born during a voyage, typically between the cannons. The child would be entered in the ship’s log as being the ‘sonofagun’ if no sailor claimed responsibility!