Are You a Landlubber Who Wants to Be a Sailor?

8th, July 2013

By Luke Korkowski (April 2013 Sea of Cortez Student)

The warm desert sun set over a low mountain range some ten miles distant, across an impossibly blue sea. My bare feet resting on the end of a comfortable hammock framed my view on the right, a shallow and lazy lagoon did so on the left.

You just can’t beat the rest and relaxation that the warm southern seas give you, especially when your down time comes after a full day of accomplishment.

I found myself in this languorous position at the end of day 1 of my liveaboard sailing course with Nautilus Sailing.

Relaxing on a Nautilus Sailing course in the sea of cortez

Learning to sail seemed like a daunting task at first. Motoring, docking, raising sails, trimming sails, navigating, planning a trip, maintenance, emergency procedures, terminology, and many more items grace the list of must-have knowledge for any sailor.

But I was a landlubber. How could I possibly learn it all?

Lucky for me, Tim Geisler, CEO and Founder of Nautilus Sailing LLC, had figured it all out for me.

At the end of one remarkably easygoing week in April 2013, I had completed three sailing courses — ASA101 Basic Keelboat Sailing, ASA103 Basic Coastal Cruising, and ASA104 Bareboat Cruising — and had become qualified to charter a sailboat all by my lonesome.

Hiking on a Nautilus sailing course in the Sea of Cortez

I don’t have the space here to give a full account of my week in the Sea of Cortez near La Paz, Mexico, so here are the highlights:

  •   Spying manta rays jumping clear out of the water and flipping in midair.
  •   Learning and becoming confident in crewing, operating, and commanding (yes, commanding!) a 42 foot sailboat.
  •   Snorkeling over reefs in gorgeous blue coves.
  •   Laughing as dolphins surfed our bow wake.
  •   Hiking low desert mountains with impressive views down to the sea bottom through crystal clear water.
  •   Joking and chatting with my crewmates over sumptuous and delectable food.
  •   In the middle of crossing 20 miles of open ocean in 6-8 foot seas suddenly realizing, “Hey, if everyone else on the boat passes out, I know how to get us home!”

It’s hard to overstate how much I enjoyed sailing with Tim and the rest of my crew, and how much I learned.

It wasn’t all rosy, of course. At one point a neighboring, fellow American,  boat captain who had anchored near us in a lagoon got a bit too aggressive and imposing.

But even this was a learning experience. Our instructor handled the irrational, rude sailor with grace and kindness, and he substantially diffused the situation. We laughed about it for the rest of the week.

If you want to learn how to sail, if you want a pleasant but meaningful vacation in one of the world’s most beautiful places, if you have a sense of adventure and a desire to improve your sailing skills, sign up for a Nautilus course.

Go, landlubber, just go. You can thank me, afterwards, when you’re a sailor.

Beautiful sunset sail in the sea of cortez with nautilus sailing

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