The Minimalist Sailor

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Why Sailing?

Just some introspective thoughts this afternoon…


For pretty much my whole life, I have grown up in and around the water.  Ever since childhood, I have been drawn to the sea.  With frequent fishing trips on my dad’s bay skiff, or summers spent at our family house in Galveston, or solo camping trips on the beach, the sea has been a very big part of my life.  I was born in Corpus Christi, so I think the salty air is in my blood :)

IMG_4044I’ve never had much enthusiasm for organized religion or church – being close to nature is my religion and the sea is my church.  When I am alone in the wild, I am at peace.  My senses are in tune with the sounds and smells around me, and all thoughts and worries of the modern world are gone.

One of my favorite pastimes in recent years has been kayaking.  Kayaking allows me to get out there, unaided by an engine or electronics, and explore nature without pollution and noise.

I think kayaking is akin to sailing in this regard.  They’re both very old methods of sea transportation, neither require auxiliary power, and both allow the skipper to be totally in tune with his/her surroundings.  I think it’s obvious to see why sailing appeals to me.  There is something truly humbling and powerful being at the mercy of the elements – that with all of our technology and “progress”, the wind and the waves still dictate where you can go.  I like that.


IMG_4043A big factor driving me to go voyaging is the wildlife.  I have been pretty much obsessed with marine biology my entire life.  I simply love to snorkel and dive. There is an entirely different world of creatures below the sea – a truly magnificent and magical world.  So sailing provides me the opportunity to see as much of this world as I can before it’s gone.   I won’t get into the politics of the climate change debate here, but the one piece of truly tangible evidence of it is ocean acidification.  Reefs around the globe are dying at a disturbingly rapid rate, and there is some subconscious force driving me to see them.   I intend to make it a personal mission to help and volunteer where I can, and document everything along the way.  We are the stewards of the natural world. We must protect it.




Published in Ryan Bradfield
Updated: March 5, 2015 — 07:09


  1. Loved reading this and all your other posts.
    Keep up the great work!

  2. I’m right there with you on the diving. It’s the happiest place on earth.

    1. I’m kinda on the fence about trying to bring a scuba compressor on my voyage. It would add a level of complexity and maintenance that I’m trying to avoid – not to mention that real estate on my little boat is at a premium. It would, however, provide me with the means to dive on my boat for repairs/maintenance, dive on others’ boats for repairs/maintenance, and provide the occasional scuba chartering. Then there is the added expense of maintaining the dive gear itself. Freediving is appealing in this regard. Simple and free to operate.

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