Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Wine-dark Sea

I am not one of the usual suspects, but I am throwing my hat in to the ring or water or wherever Tillerman is collecting posts about the Top Sailing Destination on the Planet.

So, I just asked myself what I really like most about sailing and then followed that to wherever it leads.

First, the pure essence, the joy of being on the water, feeling the boat, the curve of the sails, the rippling wind, the burbles – all that can happen just about anywhere (not sure about Titan, but since it is a moon and not a planet, it should not count).

The scenery and shorebased things to explore – that’s easy – the Mediterranean (including the bits of it like the Adriatic, Ionian, Aegean, Tyrrhenian, etc.).   All sorts of fascinating cultures, cuisines, people, history – and no pesky tides (although the meltemi and mistral can be quite pesky).   Great wines, retsina, olive oil, citrus fruits, seafood – bouillabaisse, monkfish, squid.

Fellow sailors and racers – absolutely essential and, like Knitting Sailor, I will go with the club I have known and which has made all the difference -  for me, it is the Abu Dhabi Sailing Club where I first encountered - a became hooked on - dinghy sailing at age 63.  The photo above is from our annual Laser Regatta which attracts sailors from around the region.  We are an all volunteer club of many nationalities and we sail every weekend year round ( We have great weather and a very dependable sea breeze, although the summer months can be a bit warm - when visitors arrived from the UK last August, they asked why we hosed off our Lasers immediately after taking the covers off - the answer was simple - so we can touch the spars. But, wetsuits and frostbite series are unknown.  Finally, whether it is heat or cold rain that a club contends with, it is the comradeship during and after a race or a working party that keeps me coming back.  Sailors are special people – and it goes beyond just having a common interest.  We all share something special and if our significant others do not always share it in the same way, they do recognize how important it is to us.  Hard to explain it but impossible to deny it.

So, although there are many places I want to try (and dream about) my choice today would be to somehow explore the Mediterranean with my local club. If I have to be more specific about where in the Med, I would single out the following simply because I have sailed there and would definitely go back - the Dodecanese islands, the northern part of the Croatian coast and Turkey around Gocek. Corsica and Sardinia would be next on my list.


  1. Great post, and I'm with you on the Greek food. What do you do to deal with the heat when you're out on the water?

  2. Thanks - and glad to know you like Greek food also. Yassou!

    Most of the year the heat is not a factor, but when it is we just stay hydrated with plenty of water and sports drinks. Long sleeves, sunblock and a good hat. And capsizing of course.

  3. In the Florida summer we have problems with those hot spars also -- always try and park the boats in the shade some place.
    And then we thought we had it good sailinjg every other weekend year around.

    1. Heat can be an issue. The European manufacturers were not really thinking about our market in some of their design specs. The covers on our Lasers are no match for the sun here and deteriorate quickly. Our RS400s have a slotted plastic strip glued over the center board well to prevent water coming up and all of them became unglued within a few months.

      Yes, it is a real treat to be able to sail every weekend. Plus, during Ramadan, most companies have shortened hours and it is often possible to get in a weekday sail.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...