It all started few years ago. A friend came back from a different kind of vacation with fantastic stories about wonderful islands and days spent sailing under the Mediterranean sun. I was fascinated and asked for details. It was in the early days of sailing vacations and I was totally into it.
It took me though two years to find out that a friend of mine was actually a skipper and was part of a sailing group who offered affordable vacation weeks on sailing boats. That was the beginning of a new way of vacationing for me.
You need to find the best way to steer the boat and the crew – slip a silk glove over a that steel fist and help everyone stay happy and safe.
Sailing was better than riding a motorcycle, better than road trips, better than any vacation I have ever tried before – sailing offers you everything: takes you places with restricted or difficult access, anchoring in hidden gulfs, finding secluded beaches, swimming in turquoise or dark ink-blue waters, exploring the local cuisine, enjoying the time with old friends and making new ones. You learn that you don’t need much to experience joy, you don’t need many clothes to feel pretty. There is not that much space, yet you feel free and you don’t need expensive beds to get the best sleep in your life.
I had to go one step further and get my skippers license. I had to try to see what skippering a boat is like and I found it is nice. But it comes with a ton of responsibilities. Suddenly YOU are responsible. For the boat and the crew as well. The fun & relax times alternates with full focus, steer-the-wheel and steer-the-crew times. You become the manager and the crew is your team. And you need to drip in rules while considering the people’s egos, wishes, needs and skills. You need to find the best way to steer the boat and the crew – slip a silk glove over a that steel fist and help everyone stay happy and safe.
A new way of sailing will start for me. Sailing with my child.
Stressful times in the office made me choose relaxing times over skippering a boat and I am fine with it. Being part of the crew is enhanced now with new filters for the sailing weeks. I relax and recharge my batteries while I stay connected and ask about itinerary, check the weather forecast, answer questions raised by curious crew members, help the skipper when needed, handle the anchor… there is always something to help with. Or I just zoom out and enjoy the slow living.
Now, a new chapter started in my life. I have a baby and while everyone told me that this usually makes a parent consider the all-inclusive vacations, I still resent the idea. And I will show my kid that it doesn’t take much to live a fulfilling life and that one should always go back home from a vacation spiritually enriched – because of the new places visited, new sensations, new experiences, new and diverse people met on the way, new flavors of the local food and so on. A new way of sailing will start for me. Sailing with my child.
I am so looking forward to having a kids sailing vacation next summer!
How do you sail with the kids? If you have practical advices on how to sail with kids, safety on board, how to keep them entertained on rainy days, pieces of equipment you would recommend, kid-friendly places etc, please do share!