So summer is here and you have booked a true adventure! One week with a sailing boat in the Greek islands with friends and family. WOW. This one will be a memorable experience, however this will be your first time on a sailing boat and you feel a little bit anxious over some details. Do not worry! This article will guide you through those little details and enlighten for you how things are done in the sea.
You always have to keep in mind that the boat has small spaces, meaning that discipline and order are essential for a smooth and loving trip. As 6-8 people or even more some times, need to live together for one or two weeks, in such a small space, would be wise to considerate a few things before departure!
1.The golden rule onboard is respect! Respect each others space and individuality while onboard. It is likely that we share a bathroom or even a cabin with someone else, so just make sure that you always follow the hygiene rules and that you are being respectful towards yourself and others at all times.
2.To the ones who have never been on a sailing boat before, try to explain them the basic stuff, like how small the cabins and the bathrooms are, how much water they have on their disposal each time they have a shower, how the water heater works, the importance of the batteries and lighting etc. It is very important to inform everyone onboard over those things, in order to avoid arguing while sailing. It is said that the group of people which can hold one week on a sailing boat, can hold forever!
3.Diligence! It is crucial for everyone to have "obligations" onboard before you get started, so you can have an order while sailing and discipline in times of action! Everyone will be in charge of something and through this partnership you will have smooth sailing trip.
4.Do not take with you a trolley suitcase! In general avoid hard suitcases, a soft sac voyage/bag is the best. Choose something that will be flexible to fit into almost anywhere.
5.Travel light! Don't take with you a lot of cloths, you won't use them, comfortable and light.
6.Onboard it is forbidden to wear high heels or hard sole shoes. You need to buy a pair of soft shoes or even better sailing shoes. You never, and I mean NEVER, walk around the boat barefoot. (Only inside the boat) Especially during sailing. You might loose a toe - and I am not kidding, or simply hit somewhere your feet and cry out of pain (been there). While in action, the least thing you need to have to worry is where you set your feet. You need to be prepared and flexible to follow the captain's directions.
7.Get yourself books, magazines, cards, board games and whatever else makes you happy in your free time! You will spend some beautiful chilled hours onboard.. I personally love board games, you spend some quality, bonding time with your family and friends and it is sooo much fun!
8.I am not a fan of this rule, but it is helpful for many! Organise your personal pharmacy with all the things you might need, pain killers, anti nausia pills, anti allergy pills (very important), creme for mosquitos, arnica etc. Of course don't forget your sun cream and after sun cream. All boats are equipped with special pharmacy set, but just to be double sure, would be wise to carry with you the essential. You will be many hours each day exposed to the sun so you need to take care of your skin, especially if you are not used to. This includes a hat and sunglasses and even a long sleeve shirt.
9.Another thing that I love onboard is to listen to music! So be prepared and bring with you your favourite music. Make sure to ask what kind of sound system does the boat you hired disposes and be compatible with it. Another good idea, is to bring with you a portable, water proof, wireless speaker, to carry with you your music.
10.If you are more of the relaxed type of person and not of the action, the better for you! A skipper is obligatory in this case, you just lay back, relax and enjoy your coffee. The best you can do, in case there are no sailors, but the skipper, ask him before you cast off, what would he like you to do and what he needs to show you beforehand!
In case you have chartered a bareboat, make sure you are at least two from your group while checking in, take notes of the most important things, the ones that you use everyday (engine, batteries, chart table, wind glass, water tanks, fuel tanks,VHF & GPS, sails, maps, pharmacy and boats official papers) The most common damages on a bareboat, are the batteries (make sure you charge them enough), the wind glass of the anchor (make sure it works smoothly), in case of a hull check up make sure there are no hits and of course where do they keep the essential spare parts like impeler, in case you need to fix something while sailing.
Have a great sailing experience!