Well, as SVA Dave put it, Sailing is an attitude.
Sailing in all kinds of weather is SERIOUS. Sailing only when it's not too hot, not to cold, at least 9 knots of wind, but not more than 14. Sunny but some clouds... NOT SERIOUS. (and yes, I know some who fit this category)
You know another. Won't pleasure
sail unless it's between, oh, about 15 and 30C, say... 7-15 kts. Any colder or hotter than that: Too uncomfortable. Any less wind and it's not sailing, it's drifting. Any more wind and our short-handed crew is overpowered, even with a #3 and a reef.
When there's a race on, and esp. if we have crew, those numbers can be stretched. (We once raced in 30 kts, gusting to 35. It was only supposed
to be 25, gusting to 30.) If we ever get to cruising, I guess we'll have to sail when we have to sail, almost regardless of weather, won't we?
Then there's been my vacation time the last week... *sigh* Every. Flippin'. Day, save last Saturday: 35C or higher, sky-high humidity, little air--and what air there's been has been fluky, and Random Severe Storms--except when they weren't random.
I guess we're not serious sailors. We didn't even consider
it. Well... okay, we considered it a couple times. Then looked at each other and decided living to see another day was better.
Sitting at the dock, working on the boat w/ your sailing buddy, then kicking back enjoying a cold beverage of your choice just b/c you like hanging out at the dock can be serious as long as you'd rather be actually sailing but choose not to that day.
I just enjoy working on the boat. I enjoy improving her. TBH: I think I enjoy working on her more than pleasure sailing. Between racing and working on her...? Hmmm... About a wash, I guess... mainly because my labours always produce positive results, my racing, not so much
Knowing how to tie 8 different knots (and 3 different bends) depending on the load, knowing where the articulated 5/8" widget is in your tool box and how to use it is serious.
Do I know eight knots and three different bends...? Hmmm...
Bowline, clove hitch, half-hitch, reef, round turn and two half-hitches, stopper, buntline hitch... damn, only seven
. Used to know the rolling hitch, but forgot it. (Gonna go re-learn that one right now, then keep practicing it until it's burned in.) Bends... Fisherman's Bend, Anchor Bend, Zepplin Bend... wossname bend... er... sheet bend (picks up a piece of rope...), yeah, sheet bend!
Hey, I can splice double-braid and I'll next be splicing three-strand. I've had Real Sailors complement my whipping work and I recently learned how to reeve. I even have a ditty bag. Do I get Real Sailor Points for those?
Don't Real Sailors also have to know how to read a chart; know at least
a couple kinds of navigation that don't involve a GPS; know how to read the wind, clouds and water; and know how to set their sails by their shape, the wind on their face and the feel of the helm? Doesn't a Real Sailor needs to know how to recover a MOB, treat a hypothermia victim and back down on an anchor to set it?
Reading SailNet, I learned a Real Sailor also has to know how to mount a grill on the rail...
Seriously: I don't do enough sailing in enough different conditions, or spend enough time on any sailboat, to count myself a "real sailor." I'm more a "weekend warrior," and not even consistently that. But here's the difference between me and perhaps some other not-real-sailors: I have respect for those who I believe are
real sailors, and do not lightly challenge them.
I guess I was brought up in a different time and place. I was taught to respect my betters. In sailing, I figure that's just about any sailor