Sailing represents the way you take charge of your existence. Sailing in a dream portends the beginning of a journey. Sailing can be regarded as independence; your dream may be notifying you to break free from constraints. To dream that you are on a boat sailing on still water shows that you are optimistic about everything that you do. The condition of the boat in your dream is important. If the boat is new, it means that you are coming too close to a situation from which you have to remove yourself. If you are sailing and you encounter stormy waters, this shows that things are going to be difficult and tough going forward. If you have a large boat with a crew and you are sailing, this shows that you need to be tough in something related to work. Sailing also represents the available forces in your life that can help you navigate properly. Sails guide a ship and are moved by the wind; therefore, they represent the power of mind which guides a person in life. It can also be an omen that your business will be soon revived and you will enjoy working on it very much. Psychoanalytically speaking, dreaming of a boat or a ship is indicative of our capability to cope with our emotions. It is representative of our ability to navigate our life successfully and be in control of it. To be alone in a boat portrays the need to consider our ability to handle isolation. On the contrary, being on a large ship with a group of people alerts us to review our ability to handle relationships with others. To dream about missing a boat portrays our fear of missing out on an opportunity.
A boat is also linked to the symbol of cradle due to its association with water. Thus, it has associations with mother and with our earliest and most primal emotions.
There’s a whole world out there for you to discover and perhaps you believe a sailboat will give you the means to achieve this. Maybe you yearn for adventure or want the feeling of self-sufficiency and independence that cruising can give you. If you have children, you might be searching for a way in which you can slow down and enjoy quality family time.
You can dream of sailing away even when awake. The reasons for sailing away are as varied as the sailors who dream them. Whatever your reasons for wanting to live the cruising lifestyle, your family and friends might think you’re crazy. But if your dream is to sail around the world, or to sail off for a couple of years, then listen to your own heart and go for it.
Although many people have the dream, few will ever attempt to make that dream a reality. If you believe you’re one of the few, you’ll be happy to know that megabucks and oodles of sailing experience are not the two most important things to start with (although you will have to obtain some of both). More important qualities are independence and an adventuresome spirit and perhaps the most important quality, a belief in yourself and your dream.
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream; not only plan but also believe.” Author Unknown
If you truly believe in your sailing dream then you’re already on your way to making it come true. Next, you’ll need to obtain a boat, a cruising kitty, and sailing skills (or whichever of these you lack). If it’s not any of these things that are keeping you from pursuing your dream, then you’ll need to examine what it is that keeps you from casting off the dock lines.
Too old, too young, have kids, don’t want to give up the security of a job, retirement worries, the list goes on and on. All of these reasons for not going can be overcome. Everyone who has sailed away has overcome difficulties. Sailing to the far corners of the world is not for everyone. Perhaps some alternatives would suit you better. How about a cruise instead of your annual two-week vacation? Maybe an exotic charter would cure your yearning for paradise. Your sailing dream can be whatever you want it to be.
“If you have a dream, follow it. If you catch a dream, nurture it. And if your dream comes true, celebrate it!” Author Unknown
We started with nothing but the dream. But eventually, you will need skills, a boat and a cruising kitty.
1. Start acquiring the skills necessary for your dream journey.
Keep in mind that sailing is a lifetime learning experience so don’t expect to know it all before you leave. Reading is a great way to begin if your sailing experience is non-existent. Courses in navigation, a power squadron class, or attending seminars at a sailboat show are all great ways to add to your growing sailing knowledge. Next start putting some miles under the keel. If you don’t have a boat yet you can try a sailing school, a charter, or sail with friends. If you don’t know anyone who sails, you might sign up to crew at the local sail club. This will get you out on the water and will get you in the company of fellow sailors. Perhaps racing is not your end goal, but none the less you will learn valuable sailing skills and you may meet some cruisers.
If you have your boat, spend as much time as you can strengthening your sailing skills. If you’re a couple, be sure to practice a variety of skills – don’t always be the helmsman when docking or the one who reefs the sail. Be sure both of you know how all systems on the boat operate. The more independent you can become the better. Now’s the time to start acquiring skills such as engine maintenance, sail repair, head repair, etc. You don’t need to have all these skills immediately, but if you’re spending a couple of years saving money for your sailing dreams, you may as well use that time wisely.
Many cruisers have to work from time to time to supplement the cruising kitty. Portable occupational skills are other skills worth acquiring. You may also want to pursue interests such as scuba diving, photography, learning a foreign language or getting your ham radio license – activities that will enhance your cruising.
2. Get yourself a boat.
You need a seaworthy vessel and one on which you feel comfortable living aboard. I won’t go into what makes a boat capable of safely sailing the oceans. There are books out there that will tell you this. Size is not important either but I think it’s important to be comfortable. Comfort to the solo sailor and comfort to the family of five will most likely differ, just as what is comfortable for one couple may be unliveable for the next. Also what might be suitable for a nine-month sabbatical may not be what you would like to call home for the next ten years. Most people do have to settle for less than their ideal boat. Start with whatever you can afford. Perhaps you’ll find that you don’t need everything you thought you did.
“The perfect boat is not the one you dream about. It is the boat that takes you cruising.” Don Casey and Lew Hackler, Sensible Cruising: The Thoreau Approach.
I don’t recommend burning all your bridges, buying a big cruising boat and taking off. People have done it but the chances of success are less then if you take it one step at a time. Knowing when to cross a bridge and when to burn one can help you succeed.
When choosing a boat or upgrading your existing one, remember to take a good look at your different boat systems. Strive for independence. The more self-reliant you can become, the better.
3. Save money.
This is the hardest step for most people. While choosing your new home afloat and strengthening sailing skills by sailing off to your favorite anchorage are fun – saving money means hard work. But again, if you believe in your dream and are willing to put in that hard work, you will eventually get where you’re going. Here are some ideas to help you build a cruising kitty.
- If you have a boat, live aboard it. This will accomplish several important things. You can save money by renting your present home or saving rent that you would otherwise pay; you get to know your boat – know your boat; it gives you a chance to see what you think of living aboard.
- Get a second job. Everyone’s financial situation is different, but you’ll find that most people have to put in an enormous amount of hard work to make their sailing dream a reality.
- Drive a beater. Start thinking of a car as nothing more than transportation. Perhaps you don’t need a car at all. Having no car payments and lower insurance rates can save you a bundle of money · Tighten your budget and remember to make a monthly payment to your dream savings account.
- You’ll probably have to give up certain things you’ve become accustomed to in order to supplement the cruising kitty. But your sailing dream is worth it. Take a look at where your money is going and make some tough decisions. The little things do add up.
Sustaining your dream can be tough, especially if you need several years to obtain the skills, boat and money necessary to sail off. Remember, most people can’t imagine doing what you’re doing. Their minds are not able to envision what you see beyond the horizon. Yet, here you are taking positive steps towards making your dream a reality. Give yourself lots of pats on the back for your accomplishments, however small they may seem.
It’s important to enjoy the company of those with similar dreams or anyone who supports you in your dream. Being constantly surrounded by people who tell you how crazy you are, how you’ll never succeed, and by those with nothing but negative feelings towards what you’re doing is making you question yourself.
But remember that your dream may be sprung upon family and friends quite suddenly. Give them time to accept it. Many of their negative comments are probably genuine concerns. I suggest that you give your dream a lot of thought and formulate a plan before you tell others about it. Then you will be prepared to answer their questions and concerns.
If sailing away is your dream and you truly believe that you can accomplish that dream, then taking it to step by step will get you there. It may take years. Enjoy those years. They’re all part of the dream.