Five Reasons To Sail Solo aka “Social Distancing”

Social Distancing Is Built Into Sailing

With all this talk of quarantining, viruses, and “social distancing,” we’re reminded that we go sailing to avoid crowds anyway. We’re masters at this game. If you can’t find healthy crew or convince them to sterilize everything or wear a germ-proof bodysuit before hopping onboard, here are five reasons to sail solo:

  1. Your crew is fairly useless anyway, so what’s the difference? So the jib may not get trimmed as quickly after tacking… or will it?
  2. Nothing improves your sailing skills faster than running your own ship. How are you at getting out of your slip without assistance? How are you at weighing and stowing the anchor and without anyone at the helm to order around? You’re about to find out. It might not be pretty at first, but your skills will improve with practice.
  3. Remember those days when you were too stubborn to reef and instead sailed on your ear, challenging your crew’s balance skills and patience the whole way? Well, those days are over. You’ll start to become that sailor who hears a 15-knot forecast and puts in a reef before leaving the dock. You’ll start saying super smart things like “reef early” or “it’s easier to shake it out than put it in under way.” Yep, see #2 on honing skills while sailing solo.
  4. Do you ever find yourself telling your crew to hush for a moment as you navigate a tricky situation, such as close quarters maneuvering or a complicated right-of-way crossing? Now you’ll only be challenged by the voices in your head… and forced to make a (smart) executive decision.
  5. When sailing solo, there’s no one there to shake your hand, breathe-cough-sneeze on you, try to kiss you, or any other icky thing. It’s just you and your boat and the birds and the breeze… aahhhhh! You’ll love being a solo sailor!

If you want to find more solo and short-handed sailors to help you outfit your boat and hone your skills, reach out to the Chesapeake Shorthanded Sailing Society (CHESSS).

Find other sailing clubs here.