Going to Sea for Fun
After the Civil War, sailors went much greater distances to achieve ocean crossing adventures
For 3,000 years the sea was a place of commerce and conflict, a place where adventure was incidental to making a living or serving a nation. For less than 300 years, the sea has also been a place of recreation, a place where individuals can either relax or test their skills and seek adventure.
In America, interest in sailing flourished after the Civil War. While most yachting was near-shore racing and cruising, a few offshore events—from the 1866 transatlantic Great Ocean Race to Captain Joshua Slocum’s solo circumnavigation in the 1890s—encouraged the first generation of amateur ocean sailors. By the early 1900s, with magazines like The Rudder and Yachting to popularize boating and with the establishment of the Bermuda and Transpacific yacht races, the stage was set for something more.