I feel so honoured to have the opportunity to sail the world, but if you don’t have the time or inclination to follow me, if you’re a budding sailor, there’s still plenty of adventure to have on the seas.
If you’ve got a few months, crossing one of the world’s great Oceans can be a compelling and rewarding challenge – both mentally and physically. There is nothing quite like the loneliness and mindfulness you feel when you’re in the middle of the deep blue – but also nothing quite like the elation and feeling of accomplishment from finally spotting land. It can be hard work to do as a solo, but it’s often even harder to do it as part of a crew (or, at least, it is if you want to remain friends with the rest of the crew once you’re done!).
If you’ve got less time, and don’t have a boat, but want to feel the wind in your hair, then the most obvious way to get out there is to charter a yacht for yourself. If you’re qualified, then you can charter a yacht ‘bareboat’, or if you’re not, you can also hire a skipper for the week, who will look after the boat (and do all the tricky manoeuvres, whilst teaching you the ropes).
And you can charter a yacht a lot closer to home than you think. In Europe, the best cruising grounds for a yacht or catamaran are Greece and Croatia: two countries that offer incredibly beautiful coastlines, plentiful islands to explore, and pretty dependable sunshine right through the year. Being in the Mediterranean, there’s also not much tidal activity to worry about, and there are anchorages and marina’s galore – sail tourism has been there for decades, so they’re very well set up to give you an amazing adventure, no matter where you moor up.
Greece and Croatia are just two to three hours of flight from the UK or Germany, and there are specialist websites, like PlainSailing.com which you can use to find your ideal yacht or catamaran and to quickly and easily arrange a charter – whether it’s a 32 foot single cabin yacht, to a 50+ foot catamaran with air conditioning, wifi, and all the trimmings. Their team know their boats and can also advise you on what qualifications you’ll need, where is best to charter (from Corfu, Athens and Lefkas in Greece, to Dubrovnik, Trogir, Zadar and Pula in Croatia, amongst other bases) – and they have won awards for their customer service from the Luxury Travel guide, so they are very much worth checking out.
Whatever you do, if you’re a budding sailor, you need to get yourself out on the seas!