It feels like it was just yesterday when I discovered the Sailing Greece program. I was a bright-eyed, optimistic, energetic, newbie travel agent at my first travel expo. Four years later, I finally got the chance to experience it first-hand (with my best friend in tow). What follows is a tongue-in-cheek advice guide for your first sailing adventure from a marine-loving wannabe pirate.
1. Easy, sailor
If you’ve never been on a yacht before, you will soon find out if you have sea legs or not. Take the time to acclimatize to your new surroundings by resting and relaxing. By all means, enjoy yourself on the first night (you are on vacation, after all) but maybe lay off the ouzo on the eve of your first day at sea.
2. Roll with the tide, not your luggage
With limited cabin space and storage on a sailing yacht, rolling luggage is not your friend. Backpacks, duffel bags or anything collapsible is best and a more considerate option when sharing a cabin.
3. The ultimate dilemma
What to bring? A wise friend once said, “Unpack half of your clothes and bring double the money.” This friend also advised that a budget for libations should be kept separate from your overall travel budget – another golden nugget of advice.
Apply this logic to a sailing trip:
- Saltwater will get everywhere.
- Don’t forget to protect your camera(s).
- You will practically wear the same thing everyday; swimsuit, t-shirt, shorts, and shoes. (If you’re on the clumsy side, consider wearing closed-toe shoes.)
- Hats are a necessity.
- It can get cold at night and while out on the water, so pack a jumper/sweater/hoodie/whatever-you-call-it to keep you warm. Note: this is not a generic recommendation but a legitimate suggestion.
4. Sun hoarders beware
Contrary to popular belief, this is not the same sun you may be used to at home. The Greek Islands boast what’s known as the “holiday sun,” and it is out to get you. You may never feel it, what with the breeze constantly cooling you down and the cool waters of the Aegean Sea feeling down right refreshing. But I can assure you that, at some point, you will feel it – most likely in the form of a sunburn that stings so much that dressing yourself is excruciatingly painful. Worse, you may wind up dehydrated. Drink plenty of water and sit in the shade every once in awhile.
5. Look! It’s a fish!
There is a time and place to use the facilities on board. When your yacht is moored or otherwise stopped is neither the time nor the place. That is all.