This thread is great and highly encouraging. Being someone with no experience at sailing it is good to hear that many of you think the easiest way to learn is to just go do it. It sounds like as long as your cautious and take your time it is pretty achievable.
I now know, after years of waiting for just the right boat and moment and the stars to align etc., that I should have just bought a cheap but sailable boat even if it was just a 12 to 19 footer - something I could have done years ago - and get on the water to start sailing.
Now that I'm in a sailing club and get in at least eight hours a week, I realize how much time I wasted - how many sunrises and sunsets I could have witnessed offshore rather than from land.
Most of all, I kick myself for thinking that it would be much harder than it actually is.
It's turned out to be one of the easiest and most pleasurable (and addictive) of things.
Don't wait around. Get SOMETHING, even if it's just a sailing dinghy - a grill, portapotty, and 50-inch big screen tv go perfect on an 8-foot dinghy.