Your boat may have gone into storage for the winter but just because you’ve bid ‘adieu’ for a few months, it doesn’t mean you have to forget about your passion for sailing altogether.
You’ve given your pride and joy a good scrub down, you’ve winter-proofed the engine and removed the battery – but in just a few short months the water will be ready to welcome you with open arms, so rather than spending the winter pining for your boat, make sure you’re ready to dive into the spring sailing season!
One way to do this is to plan a holiday for spring or summer, when the weather is more congenial. You don’t have to own a boat to do this; if you’ve always wanted to go on a sailing holiday and have decided 2014 is the time to do it, having a break to look forward to can help resist the temptation to hibernate through winter.
Here are a few things to bear in mind when planning a sailing getaway:
Firstly, do you want to stay around the UK or explore exotic destinations by boat? There are plenty of options with either, so whatever your budget you’ll have a great time. Britain boasts an array of spectacular sailing destinations from the Isles of Scilly right up to Scotland’s Loch Lomond.
Alternatively, if you’re happy to venture out a bit further then Europe has some seriously stunning coastlines. Head to the historic Greek islands to soak up some Mediterranean sunshine, visit the French Riviera to do some celebrity spotting or feast your eyes on the striking landscape in Portugal’s Azores. If you fancy holidaying on a boat but haven’t got the foggiest idea where to start, why not look into sailing courses abroad?
As with any holiday it’s best to be prepared in order to get the most out of it – and for peace of mind. The great thing about a sailing holiday is the freedom that comes with them. You are free to plot your own route, which means you can tailor you trip to see things you want to see – and stumble across other discoveries that other tourists might miss out on.
For example, if you choose to sail around the Greek islands you can use books and charts to plot your very own route around the countless bays, harbours, town quays and fishing villages, stopping off wherever you fancy to indulge in some sunbathing, snorkelling or delicious Greek cuisine.
Remember to check that you’re allowed to sail into and around the destinations you choose and that there are no restrictions to avoid getting into difficulty on your trip.
There are a few things to bear in mind when packing for a sailing holiday and a few items to remember that you generally won’t need when staying in a hotel. Depending on the size of your boat, or the boat you are hiring, you may need to cut down on the amount of stuff you usually pack.
However, a few items that should make the cut include: comfortable walking boots to explore your new surroundings, sunhat and sunscreen since you will be outside for most of the day and mosquito spray. You may also want to bring seasickness tablets if you are new to boating lessons. Don’t forget to bring a torch and of course, a camera – you’re sure to get some great snaps!
On the run up to your holiday, keep an eye out for a good sailing blog that offers lots of useful information such as what to pack, as well as destination guides and invaluable tips.
So what are you waiting for? Shake off the winter blues by booking yourself a spring sailing holiday!