Is the Sea good for your Soul?

Grayhound with Classic Sailing

Sailing has been proven scientifically to be good for your health and wellbeing. Here I show you how sailing is good for your soul in so many amazingly wonderful ways.  

Change is good for you.

Changing places makes you more inquisitive, what is it like here, what is going on. It’s like arriving in a new place, and every minute at sea is a new place, no wonder you feel more alert.

Why are waves good for the soul?

Change is constant, the sea has a new wave for you every few seconds, can you see the patterns the wind causes the waves to form. Not all waves have the same shape, the further they have come the smoother and more rounded they will be, this fetch can be thousands of miles long. Waves from the wind beside you right now will be closer together and steeper. Every surfer is looking for that set of big waves that come along about every seventh wave. Why do waves come in sets.

But for us on the water looking out from a sailing boat we are looking at the waves with a different perspective.

Riding the waves.

It’s a wake up call.

Most of us spend a lot of time walking on carpeted floors or the concrete and tarmac of roads and pavements. We do not expect the floor to move. 

At sea, the sea moves us. Unless you are on a big ship or the sea is flat calm your feet are standing on a constantly moving deck. This motion means your body is constantly adjusting to keep your balance. 

Your agility is improved and you have to become more aware of your environment, all things that wake the soul in you.

Its in the air.

Sailing is flying in the air but you don’t normally take off! To use the wind you have to study where it’s coming from and how strong it is. The waves, clouds and birds can help us understand the wind on a moment by moment basis.


We have mentioned how the waves rekindle your agility by moving you around. They also show us the direction and strength of the wind.  Looking at the waves for information increases our awareness of nature. Do you know  white horses when you see them? Wind Speed Chart


If there are sea birds nearby you can see how they rise by heading into the wind, slope sideways across the wind and by allowing themselves to fall slowly and move forward into the strongest of winds. Heading into the wind again to rise once more. This is typical of the soaring seen in albatross and gulls. Bird flight in strong winds.

Cloud directions

Above you are the clouds and you will notice that the direction they are travelling is not quite the same as the wind you are in at sea level.

The higher up you go, the air’s friction with the sea is decreased, so the winds are stronger. Since the Coriolis effect is proportional to wind speed, it begins deflecting air to the right (or to the left in the Southern Hemisphere). 

At deck level, in the northern hemisphere, the wind could be blowing from due west, but as you climb a big mast the wind direction will shift northwards and be about West North West. This is taken into account when setting the square sails on a tall ship. 

Cloud types.

Clouds vary in shape and altitude, they are definitely worth keeping an eye on, you may not be able to name them but if you see a black could or white rain squall heading at speed your way it is essential you are either already prepared by having reduced sail or have the ability to stow them in double quick time. Information on Clouds 


If you are sailing in coastal waters in a tidal sea it is important to know what the tides are doing. Not only how high or low they are but also what currents they produce. Looking at a tidal shore line it is often easy to tell if the tide is in or out. The shape of waves can tell you if they are going into or with the tide current. Look at mooring buoys or headlands and you can often see the tide rushing past them. Understanding Tides

Nature Calling

All these things in motion, the waves, the wind, the clouds, birds and tides help you understand what is going on around you, it really does bring you closer to nature and that is 100% good for the soul. 

Any voyage can help you rekindle your soul, enjoy your sailing.

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