Thanks everyone for the warm welcome. There is so much information and experience here, I am sure I will find it a very helpfull rescource.
Sailing for me may be a little way off yet as other things have to take priority, paying off debts, buying a house etc etc, but I am only young (33) so have plenty of time ahead of me yet. But, as one gets older, we start to realise how quickly our lives can change and that dreams should maybe not be put on hold, else we may never realise them. It seems strange to me that I have never given sailing a thought until recently, having had a love for the ocean for as long as I can remember. Despite that love, I have spent almost my entire life living hundreds of miles away from the nearest ocean, how bizzare. I enjoyed a few years working on fishing boats early on, but the money made was not enough to keep me at it. Nowdays I work in a coal mine, the money is good, the working conditions are good and we get plenty of time off. It's not a job I would want to give up for a while, so long range cruising will be a long time away yet, but week long trips would be no problem.
Getting a bit ahead of myself, I know, but just the thought of being able to stay at sea for a week at a time has me quite excited. I am probably quite fortunate in that the Whitsunday Islands are pretty much on my doorstep so there will be no shortage of weekend cruising targets available. There are many islands to the south as well around 60 NM away, well out of the range of my powerboat, but within range of a sailboat with a few days to spare. I have no qualms about heading out into the wide blue yonder on my own in my current boat for days at a time, so a sailboat would appear to be right up my alley. I have been doing much reading on the basics of sailing and am starting to get a grasp of the fundamentals, of course putting that into practice is a very different thing. Most would probably sugest a sailing course, but I tend to do things a little differently to most. Anything I choose to learn in life usually begins with lots of reading and research so I get the concept worked out in my head first, then, I have a go. When it doesn't go to plan, I find out why and make sure I don't do it again. It might not be the easiest way to learn things, but it's just the way I am.
Anyway, thanks again for the welcome, I'm sure I will enjoy my time here.
Oh, and Nausikaa, concerning this :-
Originally Posted by Nausikaa
We look forward to hearing how things turn out for you and when you get this far (I am in Spain) with your boat I will buy you a drink!
Don't start pouring just yet, but I hope to one day be able to take you up on that offer.