Not sailed before? Check out these notes before you get too engrossed in the romantic image of “Sailing the Greek Islands” (or any other islands!).
Questions and Answers
For those of you who are not familiar with sailing, these Q&A’s should help give you a picture of what life on a sailboat is really like. Already experienced sailors won’t need all this — but there’s still plenty of other useful details for you too!
We can’t count the number of times people have told us that this was their “best vacation ever”, a “dream come true”, it “totally surpassed expectations”, and other such comments.
But, sailing isn’t for everyone, and maybe the reason why we get so many comments like this is that we are very down-to-earth in setting expectations.
A sailing yacht is not a cruise ship; and if this type of vacation isn’t going to suit you, it’s better realised now — not in the middle of the Aegean with not a hairdryer nor ice cube in sight for miles!
We hope these notes will help. . .
Q: A comment that we know our sailors get all the time — “Wait a bit. . . you’re going to spend a week on a boat with a bunch of people who you don’t know real well ?”
A: A good point! But—the actual fact is that 95% of the time, everyone on board gets on just great, and ends up good friends. Why?
1. A very effective self-selection process! By definition, anyone who would choose an adventure vacation like this generally is an independent, flexible type, with a sociable nature which enjoys the company of others at close quarters.
2. And just to be quite sure, we go on . . . and on. . . at great length. . . to make sure that everyone who books with us totally understands what life on a sailboat is all about!
We do tell anyone who we don’t think is really suited that they should reconsider. We’re not doing anyone any favors by not being totally honest about this.
Q: So who does come on Sailing School trips?
A: A wide age-range, from 18-73; though many tend to fall into the 30-to-late 40s bracket. Some very experienced sailors, some who’d literally never set foot on a sailboat before, some folks come with a friend/partner; some travel solo, some people have travelled/worked all over the world, some had to get their very first passport issued to join us!
Q: Is there an age limit?
A: A number of people have emailed us asking what the age limit is. There is no age limit.
However—one important point that we do need to make (and of course, this doesn’t apply just to age)—is that a sailboat does need a certain amount of physical mobility. You need to be comfortable climbing over one boat to another to get to dock at times; in and out of inflatable dinghies; across a narrow gangplank from boat to shore, and so forth.
Q: I am single. Can I come on a course on my own?
A: Yes. About 25% of our students come on their own. Unfortunately, we have to make a surcharge for single occupancy of a cabin. It is often possible to share storage in a cabin with one person sleeping either in the saloon or the cockpit. If you are prepared to share there is no surcharge.
Q: I’m definitely an adventurous sort, love the concept so far—but I’m concerned about getting seasick?
A: If you’ve gotten seasick being out on a boat for an afternoon—don’t worry that this means you’ll never make it as a sailor! It takes most of us (yes, including us skippers!) a day or so for the inner ear to adapt to the different motion. The vast majority of people are fine after that.
If you are the type who gets motion sickness on everything: cars, planes, boats. . . bathtub. . . this is the time to wonder if a sailing vacation is for you.
Q: What’s it like to live on board?
A: We’re pretty casual about most things, but there’s a few basic rules that keep life on board happy for everyone.
For instance, keeping the saloon free of personal junk, not partying on till the wee small hours when others are trying to sleep, not using all the precious water to wash your laundry when we’re days away from the next water supply. All these sort of issues are covered in the (even more extensive!) notes we send out on booking.
Q: What are the sleeping arrangements/cabin assignments?
A: Each yacht sleeps up to six guests in four double cabins. The two aft cabins are double beds, the two f’ard cabins can be either single bunk beds or convert to double beds also. First to book, first to choose is our policy on who gets which cabin!
In mid season, lots of people opt to sleep on deck too—a great feeling, completely clear n’ starry nights… no threat at all of being rained on halfway through the night!
Q: Is there hot water?
A: We might be out to downplay the facilities and tell you it’s like “camping on the water”—but in fact, it’s really quite civilized! In fact, many of our guests who are experienced sailors tell us they were surprised at how luxurious the boats are, compared to what they are used to sailing! So, yes there is indeed plenty of hot water, in each of the 4 showers/toilets. We also have two fridges, a stove w/oven, a great CD collection, novel library, snorkeling gear and all sorts of other toys