Strolling along the harbour under the hot sun of the Italian Riviera, we were met by
our friendly instructor, Enzo.
We stepped cautiously onto the boat as we took to the sea for the very first time. Butterflies flapping in my stomach, I was unsure if it was due to nerves or the sea—sickness starting to kick in already.
As we left the port behind us and sailed freely out into the Tyrrhenian sea it was clear that my grandfather’s sailor instincts were in my blood too. It felt so natural and free to be out at sea, and when we switched off the engine there was a moment of silence as we appreciated the lapping of the waves and the sounds of nature.
Learning to sail was like learning a new language, a language reserved for those with the patience and drive to learn it. ‘Sheet in’, Sheet out’, ‘port’, ‘starboard’ watch the ‘bow’. Words that at first seem strange but that with repetition became more familiar to us.
The desire to jump off the stern of the boat was starting to mount as we made our way further out to sea. Finally, under the exhausting heat of the mid-day sun, we splashed into the water for a refreshing swim. The five of us were joined by some unexpected tourists in the form of Jellyfish, it was at that point that we decided to retreat to the safety of the boat and take a well earned lunch break.
The afternoon was spent tackling various manoeuvres and learning how to handle the boat while getting to know her and her rhythm. We finally docked at about 7pm and were free to reflect on our day’s adventure while recharging with showers and aperitifs.