John & James MacDonald // Zero-to-Hero Day Skippers
What’s Your Background in terms of Sailing Experience?
My twin brother and I had some dinghy sailing experience before the 11 days total that we spent with Wild West Sailing. We had spent some small periods boating in our youth, but nothing significant.
What Problem Were You Trying to Solve?
We had a desire to learn to sail as being out on the ocean is one of our favorite things and one of the most calming experiences I find. My father always told me that one of the most important things that I should do in my life is, learn to sail. Our older brother is an old seadog and had requested that we upskill to be able to join him on some proper voyages. So, we decided that it was time to heed my father’s advice and learn to sail properly. However, when we do something, we like to do it right and whole-heartedly, which led us to Wild West Sailing :)
How Was The Problem Affecting You?
The main problem was lack of knowledge and skills in this area. This led to a lack of confidence and a hesitation to get properly stuck in.
What Possible Solutions Did You Consider before coming to Wild West Sailing?
Before coming to Wild West Sailing, we had read some books, watched videos online etc., but these yield limited progress, as there is always a significant difference between what obtained from utilizing such second-hand information, with what one gets from experiencing a thing first-hand.
Why Did You Choose Wild West Sailing?
When looking for somewhere to learn to sail properly, we did the usual googling. The Wild West Sailing website really hit the right note for us. It was well presented, clear, concise and had a nice level of integrated video media to set the scene. It also clearly conveys the level of the instructor and his passion for sailing very well. It really captures the dream well, if that is a good way to put it? :)
What Would Have Happened If You Had NOT chosen to progress your passion for sailing further with Wild West Sailing?
This is a great question, as, at that time, our interest was strong, but I would not say that we had an instilled inherent passion for sailing. However, the time we spent with Wild West Sailing was so truly amazing that without doubt, was a turning point, Dave took a strong interest, and converted it into what’s shaping up to be a life-long passion. If we had not chosen to progress with Wild West Sailing, things could have been very different. Small choices in life can certainly have profound affects :)
What Risks Did You Consider?
Before signing up for courses in sailing in general, we were concerned about the potential elitist nature of something like sailing and that the on-board experience would be formal and tense. Wild West Sailing was the absolute opposite to our delight :) Extremely friendly, approachable, informal, easy-going… The whole experience for sure, set us on the path we are on today with a real passion for sailing.
What Reservations Did You Have?
Really, our fears would have been related to being out of our depth and if the course turned out to be a formal and intense environment, this would have not been enjoyable and would have inevitably led to poor learning. This could also quench an aspiring interest in sailing as a whole.
What Measurable Benefits Have You Seen?
After the course, we have a true passion for sailing and a significant boost in confidence. On top of this important confidence boost, it gave us the knowledge and skills to be able to sail and manoeuvre a boat confidently. For sure, after the course, we are significantly better sailors and have an unquenchable passion for sailing. To be honest, as a direct result of the wonderful experience with Wild West Sailing, we are currently in the process of buying our very own racing yacht. So, I think it is fair to say that, on and above our time with Wild West Sailing being an utterly wonderful experience, it was a truly life-changing experience.
Did you have any fun?
We had great fun! Given that our initial reservations in taking a proper sailing course, were related to it maybe being formal, intense and not a lot of fun, it came as a massive surprise that it was the complete opposite while we learned the skills and knowledge to set us on a course for a life-long passion.