Las Bicicletas Son Para El Verano (Bikes Are For Summer) was the title of a film, but our passion for sailing doesn’t have to be limited to this season. Have you considered a charter this winter?
While you watch the snow falling through the window at Christmas, you’re bound to feel nostalgic about sailing with higher temperatures. After this endearing time of year, a good way of recovering from the stress of family gatherings, buying gifts, company meals and endless other celebrations could be sailing.
Here are a few excuses and some tips on how to do so.
1- I’m longing to sail
You’re most likely to have enjoyed yourself on board your boat, a friend’s boat or a rental boat so many weeks ago that you barely remember how much fun you had. If, like many of us, your sailing is limited to the summer months, find out more about the options for trying some in winter.
2- The climate
Sailing in the cold weather isn’t, by any means, as appetising as doing it in the sunshine and at a temperature allowing you to bathe as you like to do in summer. But most of us now have our own boat or that of those good friends who invite us onto theirs in a winter location. Fortunately the earth has many seas and destinations where we can now enjoy the summer weather.
3- Let’s book a charter
Hiring a boat is the “option”. The easy way of organising a week of sailing in warm and distant waters. It also has incentives such as sailing in an unusual destination and learning more about new and exotic places. It’s also a useful opportunity to try out the model of boat you may be thinking of buying.
4- Organising your holidays
For many people it isn’t common to take a few days’ holiday in winter. Bear in mind that a whole month at a time can seem too long or that the 11-month wait until the following one is an eternity. It will be a pleasant experience for those who’ve never had a winter break.
5- In a group, with your partner, solo?
If you aren’t so adventurous with new people, you’ll run fewer risks if you manage to form a group of friends or relatives capable of “disorganising” their obligations for a week. But if you don’t have a group to complete your boat or you want to meet new people, charter companies often offer the option of hiring a cabin. It’s a very common practice involving living with other people with a certain amount of privacy but less than with options offering individual charter places.
6- High or off-peak season
Don’t assume you’ll benefit from low-season hire benefits because we’re enduring the winter months. When seeking warm destinations, bear in mind that these months will be the high season there, although you could find some off-peak rates. When you search for a destination, it’s worth looking for a more affordable solution. Look carefully for offers in February and March that aren’t too close to Easter and alternative destinations that aren’t in such demand as the Caribbean.
7- The comfort of returning
Getting back into the routine after a winter break is a way of recharging your batteries for free. Not only due to changing your habits and switching off, but also because you’ll do so having shaken off the winter cold, particularly if you book a winter charter in late February or in March, when it won’t be as cold as it could be in January. A more or less tanned appearance will depend entirely on you and whether you want to give people a lot or nothing to talk about.
8- Don’t forget to budget for the journey
Be careful when you’re making your calculations, lest, in the heat of battle, you get excited about the offers for the price of the boat, the cabin or an individual place and then realise that you’ll almost certainly have to take a flight to get to your idyllic winter destination. Of course, when you make your final decision, another destination than the one you initially thought of may suit you due to the ease of finding flights at a reasonable cost. Bear in mind that sometimes, particularly in very exotic places, the distance between the airport and the port can be long or rather difficult to cover.
9- Specialised company
It’s always advisable to put yourself in expert hands and, in this case, with a distant and unknown destination for us, it’s essential. Contact several companies to explain your concerns and preferences. Allow yourself to be advised and study the proposals of several different companies. However, above all, value their experience in these destinations. Directly accessing an online booking centre or browsing the internet can come up with a choice that will ruin your sailing and, more importantly, life on board a boat in dreamy waters.
5 basic things
- Hire a boat with a skipper.
- Study the destination (its customs, schedules, gastronomy, etc.) in good time.
- We come from a cold climate, so make sure you protect yourself from the sun.
- Check when your passport expires and the need for visas.
- The most important thing: relax and enjoy yourself.