Plain Sailing

Would you rather: Sunshine or wind?

I got asked the following tricky question the other day: “Which sort of sailor are you - would you rather have sunshine or wind?”

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Obviously it’s a fairly broad question (your first response is ‘how much sunshine or wind are we talking about?’ or ‘is it one or the other, period, or would the sunshine come with a little wind, and vice/versa’), plus too much sun or wind is just as bad as too little,  so we need to break it down a bit to get to proper sailing terms that we can all understand:

Would you rather have 28 degrees of delightful sunshine with a breezy 8 knots of wind (a la sailing in the Med), or would rather have 12 degrees (jacket weather!) but with can’t-wait-to-get-the-sails-out 16-18 knots of wind (a la sailing in Scotland)?

It’s still a difficult choice:  there is certainly not much that can compare with the sheer relaxation of gently bobbing along in the sunshine in Greece or Croatia, ever so slightly heeled over, ideally with a cold beer or a glass of decent gin and tonic in your hand, and the sound of the sea gently lapping against the hull of the boat.  And catching occasional glimpses of bayside towns which creep up the hillside of each idyllic island you float by.  That’s surely a brand of sailing that everyone would love.

But then, there’s equally nothing quite so exhilarating as whipping the boat around in decent semi-strong winds, heeling over so much that you have to almost physically hang on, with waves cascading over the sides of the boat, and feeling the raw power of the wind and the sails.  And there’s so much adrenaline pumping around inside you that you don’t need any drinks to enhance the experience (which is lucky, because there’s nowhere to put them down when the boat is at 45 degrees anyway!).  That’s real sailing, that only a real sailor can do. 

I’m struggling to choose between these two brilliant but very different types of sailing - maybe, ideally, a morning of high winds, followed by an afternoon of decent sunshine, if I’m allowed that? – But what would you rather?  Let us know!