There is nothing quite like being out on the water.
"There's something about the way the air moves. The way it smells. The salt. The sounds. It's just a pretty magical experience," said Ben Doerr, owner of Sail Bainbridge.
The Puget Sound happens to be Captain Ben's office. Sail Bainbridge offers private, customizable sailing experiences for folks of all ages.
"We do everything from two-hour sails, which we do a lot of during the summer. We also do a half-day and full-day [sail]," said Doerr. "Then we get into the overnight stuff where we do either a sunset sail with an anchor out, or we go and do multi-day trips all the way up to expedition sails, like sail to backcountry ski, a program we call Sail to Ski. Anything we can use the sailboat to access and make an adventure, that's what we're up to."
All of Sail Bainbridge's sailings are aboard the sailing vessel True. Named for Doerr's late mother-in-law, True was built in 1965. It's a classic sailing yacht, perfect for exploring the waters of the Pacific Northwest.
"We live in one of the greatest short-distance cruising destinations in the world," said Doerr. "The San Juans are amazing, Blake Island, Vashon, Gig Harbor, down into the South Sound below the Tacoma Narrows [...] There's all these gems tucked in. You could probably spend a lifetime cruising here and not get bored with the places you can find and anchor."
Once onboard, guests can be as involved as they want to be. Sit back and enjoy a glass of wine or hang at the helm and learn a little about sailing from a pro — either way, Doerr's goal is to make sure folks really get to experience sailing.
"We sail out of the harbor and pick up the wind with whatever it's doing because my goal is to get that engine off as quickly as possible," said Doerr. "In a two-hour sail, it's all about getting the sails up and getting the boat moving under the wind. Then the seals start to pop up, the birds start to come by and everybody starts to have a connection to the space around us, at least for a short time."
When it comes down to it, to experience sailing like this is a celebration of simple pleasures, listening to the wind and the water while ferries pass by and the Seattle skyline gleams in the distance.
"Hopefully [our guests] just feel like they had a good time and don't overthink it. It's just a pretty relaxing experience to go out for a couple hours on a sailboat."