4 things to know before your first sailing holiday
Sailing is a wonderful experience: we recommend it to everyone! However, we know that it is often perceived as a difficult, “adventurous” holiday, with little comfort and a few more risks than a “normal” holiday. Our experience tells us that even those who don’t look like Indiana Jones at all fall in love with sailing holidays… not to mention families with children!
So here are four things to know to happily go on your first sailing holiday.
What do I do if I get seasick? Seasickness hits the most experienced sailors too, but it is the classic thing that scares all those who have never travelled by boat: the first time onboard is always a bet, from this point of view! What to do when we feel the first discomfort … and we risk ruining our day at sea? Some tricks are always worth testing (each of us will find some more effective than others, it’s subjective!). First of all, try to stay on the outside of the boat, and possibly in the stern area: these are the most comfortable areas for your stomach! Look at a fixed point on the horizon, avoid reading (even your mobile phone) and know that if you really can’t resist … it’s normal to throw up, as long as you are careful to do it downwind! In any case, it is useful to notify the skipper of your condition: he will be able to give you other tips to reduce seasickness. If you discover that you suffer from seasickness, keep in mind at least two precautions for the following times: eat little and only dry and salty food, and bring with you some medicines for seasickness, but – be careful! – they must be taken before getting sick because they do not make nausea go away but they prevent it. There are tablets, patches and chewing gum with this purpose: get advice from your doctor, just to be safe!
How do I dress? In all the advertisements for sailing holidays, let’s face it, people seem to be dressed in clothes chosen especially for the occasion. But it is better to start with what we already know that makes us feel comfortable! Onboard, you will spend most of your time barefoot (such a beautiful thing…just be careful where you step!) and it will always be important to have both fresh clothes and a sweatshirt and scarf with you for evenings hit by a bit of breeze. A slightly more elegant dress for an evening to be spent ashore in an elegant restaurant or in a panoramic village is an “extra” that we would like to recommend, but apart from this, it is important that in the first sailing holiday you do not suffer from uncomfortable clothing (for whatever reason). You will understand during your first voyage at sea what you can improve for the next time in the selection to pack!
Do I need to know how to drive the boat? No, the skipper is there, and he will do everything. However, if you are going on a sailing boat for the first time just to explore the possibility of learning something about navigation yourself, consider agencies that include a small (or large!) training course in the holiday, to combine a cruise in the family with a little sailing school: we already know that you will fall in love with it and that once ashore you will look for the nearest sailing school to feed a new splendid passion.
Going to the bathroom, taking a shower…will I be able to do everything? Yup! Onboard a sailboat you can carry out all the main daily activities: simply, some of them take place in a more…creative way! The skipper will explain everything to you before leaving: in general, fresh water on board is a precious commodity and you must always keep in mind how much you need and how much remains before the next landing (you can get supplies at the port). Nothing is thrown into the toilet: neither toilet paper – which goes into a special container on the side – nor anything other than …well, you know what! You shouldn’t use the bathroom in ports and natural harbours: in fact, the discharge ends up in the sea, and even if it is all biodegradable…it is better to avoid places where there are swimmers or other boats!
If you are at your first sailing experience and you have a question that we have not answered with this post, write it to us and we will answer you immediately!