Sailing Through Summer Goals

IMG_3986Have you fulfilled your summer goals? Now that the thoughts of autumn start creeping up, TIFF film festival takes over the city and the first few days of chilly weather make us put on an extra layer, do you think back to the hot summer days and wish you’d do something more to enjoy it?

This year for me that ‘something more’ was sailing. Not long ago my neighbour invited my husband and me for an evening sail off the Toronto Harbour. Sailing was one of those things I always wanted to learn. Why? Well, a side from the fact that I secretly want to live in a Ralph Lauren ad, I find being on the water extremely calming and exhilarating all the same time. And on a perfect day, when the wind is just right, there’s nothing like it.

Ralph Lauren

Of course I would not be my mother’s daughter if I didn’t document everything with a photograph so here are a few of my amazing shots of the Toronto skyline, the harbour and lake Ontario, while on the water.

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I’ve been looking into a few sailing clubs that offer sailing lessons and here are a few that made my short list.

Harbourfront Centre Sailing and Powerboating – this sailing club offers members access to entire fleet of keelboats with no rental and yacht charter fees. It also includes unlimited boat access and guest privileges. Courses offered include Dinghy Sailing (basic, intermediate and advanced), Basic Power Boating as well as more advanced courses if you really want to get serious about sailing.

National Yacht Club – the Dinghy Sailing courses are available to non-members which is great if you don’t want to shell out for membership fees right away. This club is perfect if you’re planning on becoming a serious boater and purchasing your own vessel. A Good option after finishing the courses is to become a crew member. NYC has a great program where you can race or cruise 3-4 times a week without having to own a boat. Crew membership is fairly cheap and you gain a lot more experience.

Scarborough Bluffs Sailing Club – the club introduces sailors to fundamentals of sailing and sail safety. It uses the Canadian Yachting Association’s CANSail dinghy program to bring students tot he CANSail 2 competency. Graduates are offered a trial membership in the club to help them continue using the sailing school dinghies to enhance their skills. If you don’t own a boat that’s not a problem. The club owns a fleet of CL14 and 420 sailing dinghies which are available for the use of qualified members who have proper certification.

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Sailing is a lot like driving a standard car. You have to put in more work then driving automatic, but it’s much more fun. It takes some substantial commitment, both financially and time-wise, but if you like spending time on the water and meeting new people that share your interests, it’s definitely worth it.

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