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Old 08-25-2013
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Re: Mobile and Looking for a Great Sailing Community

Thanks to everyone for all the great ideas and discussion. I've really enjoyed reading everyone's posts and replies.

I think the early leader in the clubhouse is Oriental, NC. We checked it out as best we could online, and it sounds like a great little town to live in. A decent amount of things to do and see (especially for a small town), festivals, and weekly sailboat races. Sounds like fun . =) Not to mention the easy access to the ICW, plenty of opportunities for gunkholing, and lots of nearby places to sail to once we're ready.

Thanks for the help, everybody. Much appreciated.

- John
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Old 08-25-2013
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Re: Mobile and Looking for a Great Sailing Community

Though it is probably the most expensive area in the US, you could not do better than the San Francisco Bay for a place to learn to sail. It is year around sailing in conditions so varied that you can sail in a flat calm to near gale conditions in a single day. Huge currents and even thick fog are great for learning to cruise and gain confidence. There are thousands of miles of inland sailing up the rivers and short coastal hops to a few anchorages to the north.
California has a multitude of crazy laws and very high taxes which are a serious detraction, at least to me, but that might be overshadowed by the sailing education one gets from the bay.
The biggest detraction to beginning a cruising lifestyle on the west coast, if one intends to cruise the Caribbean without circumnavigating, is "the hole" a difficult area east of Panama, which one must traverse to make easting. But heading to the Caribbean from the east coast via Bermuda in November is no cake walk either.
On the other hand, sailing to Hawaii from California is the easiest and safest 2000 mile shake down cruise one could ask for. Even without any form of navigation, one can just follow the jet contrails to Hawaii; you can't get lost! The trip back to the west coast is a bit more challenging, but an excellent test of one's knowledge and abilities.
It rarely gets excessively hot and humid as the mid-Atlantic states and the Chesapeake do in summer, though there are, it has been rumored, windless days on the bay, too.
There is a saying, "if one can sail the bay, one can sail anywhere in the world" and I have found this to be quite true, getting my sailing education there.
Good luck with your endeavor and I hope we see you out here one day.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.

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Last edited by capta; 08-25-2013 at 02:38 PM.
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