Best way to learn how to sail?
Congratulations on your interest. I say that as a relatively new sailor - I have been doing it now for about five years, and approached it exactly the same way you did. Woke up one day and wanted to sail. Two things I can say are, just try to get on board boats, and definitely attend some sort of school. I would not necessarily advise crewing on a raceboat just yet, as there is a great deal of screaming in some instances and that could scare you away from the pursuit. Walk the docks. Talk with people. Almost every boat owner you meet, if you show a little interest, will invite you to sail with him or her. And in my opinion, most sailors love to tell you what they are doing and why they are doing it. Secondly, I had the good fortune to attend a J World learn to sail course this past spring, and it was amazing how much better of a sailor it made me. They are not inexpensive, but in my opinion, they are a better investment than a boat in the beginning. I bought the boat first and scared myself and those sailing with me almost to death before I knew what I was doing. Now, with a bit of experience and that course under my belt, I am a better, and perhaps more importantly SAFER sailor than I otherwise would have been for years. I now cruise with my better half and we both thoroughly enjoy it. There are many ways to learn, but those are my suggestions. Most of all, have fun. It is the greatest sport on earth, in my opinion.