Life’s road begins where land ends

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“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

For landlubbers, the road ends where the land ends. But for people who love the sea, the road begins where the land ends – a path that can lead to new destinations, new adventures and new experiences.

Captain Tim McMahon from the SailQuest Sailing School describes the benefits of sailing; especially in the Gulf of Thailand.

This was a central theme of a talk at the Pattaya City Expats Club on Sunday, September 13, by Captain Tim McMahon from the SailQuest Sailing School Thailand located at Ocean Marina. Tim spoke about the benefits of sailing in Thailand; local sailing options; and the programmes his sailing school provides. Having grown up in a sailing community in Maine in the USA, Captain Tim has lived and worked on the water for most of his life. He settled in Thailand in 1997.

PCEC Member Ren Lexander interviews Captain Tim McMahon about the fun of sailing in the Gulf of Thailand. To view the video, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3c7CoDQazI

He mentioned that sailing provides an opportunity to expand your awareness and knowledge of the world. Further, it is a rewarding way to spend a day, your vacation or even your entire life. Sailing enriches your life, expands your horizons and brings you closer to nature. “It sure beats sitting at home watching TV,” Tim said. When you sail, you get to exercise your brain and your body, Tim explained. And you get to meet new friends and enjoy new experiences.

During the Open Forum portion of the PCEC Meeting, Coordinator Anne Smith calls on members and guests to ask questions, make comments, or provide answers about Expat living in Pattaya.

He described the Gulf of Thailand as a great place for sailing. There are over 300 good sailing days each year. From March to October, the Gulf experiences consistent southerly monsoon winds. The rest of the year, the Gulf benefits from consistent northerly winds. The temperatures are tropical, there are no large ocean swells, and the Gulf is not really crowded. Not much has been written about the coastline, so there are new discoveries to be made.

You can take day trips or weekend trips to Sattahip and the islands off its coast, some of which are uninhabited. Koh Si Chang is a popular destination of sailors. If you want to venture further a field, there are 3 to 4 day sailing trips to places on the other side of the Gulf from Pattaya, such as Koh Samui and the Hua Hin area. On that side of the bay there are rivers and a national park to explore. You can even sail further, Tim said, to places like Malaysia, Philippines, the west coast of Thailand, the Andaman Islands, and the Maldives. Tim has sailed to Chagos, the southernmost island in the Maldives chain.

Tim explained that there are many places in this area that provide sailing opportunities. They include the Ocean Marina Yacht Club (off of Sukhumvit Road), the largest marina in Southeast Asia; the Ocean Marina Sailing Club; and the Royal Varuna Yacht Club (in the Pratamnak area). Further, there are many ways to get involved, such as: take a “learn to sail” course; participate in local sailing programs; charter a yacht; and/or make friends with a yacht owner. You can even buy your own yacht. There are fractional ownership programs, which is a little bit like time-sharing a holiday destination. And if you are a veteran sailor, there are several regatta sailing events each year.

MC Roy Albiston opens the PCEC Sunday meeting by calling on any first time visitors to introduce themselves and tell everyone where they are from.

As to his own experience, Tim said, he has sailed over 350,000 nautical miles; entertained more than 30,000 passengers and crews; survived over 1,000 nights on live-aboard sail and dive charters; and instructed more than 450 sailing school students. Tim has also delivered yachts for customers and spent seven years full time doing live-aboard cruising. He mentioned he participated in one Koh Samui regatta that involved five days of racing and seven days of partying! Tim said that he was proud of having placed third in his division. But then he revealed that there were only three boats in the division.

Tim described a 10-day training course available through SailQuest. He said that his students come from all over the world. Readers can learn more about the course by visiting their website at: http://www.sailingschoolasia.com/.

After the presentation, MC Roy Albiston brought everyone up to date on upcoming events and called on Anne Smith to conduct the Open Forum, where questions are asked and answered about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.

For more information on the PCEC’s many activities, visit their website at www.pcecclub.org.