What To Expect:
The kind of travelling you’ll be doing is commonly called cruising. For many people, this conjures images of smooth progress across sparkling blue waters under a bright but comfortably warm sun, lolling around on the foredeck watching out for dolphins…. these are the good days and we’ll try to take the very best advantage by sailing through them.
At the other end of the scale are the horrid days – poor weather, uncomfortable boat motion, cold and possibly even wet….. on days like these we’ll be tucked in somewhere safe and secure, with time to venture ashore or loll around below deck reading, cooking, nattering. You get the picture I’m sure – we respect the weather, particularly the wind and we don’t lay down any challenges! Note: this was written whilst we were still quite far north in the Atlantic. Now we’re in the Med the chances of cold, wet and horrid are much smaller!
If we waited for perfect weather before moving we’d probably be lucky to move much at all, so sometimes we’ll move under less than ideal conditions but nowhere near horrid. I think I’ve allowed enough time for a leisurely trip but we will need to be at certain ports for crew changeovers, so this will be an ongoing consideration.
Whilst this kind of travel will be a novelty for Alibi – she’s accustomed to edgier endeavours – it’s the kind of journey which has been done many times before. With this in mind I’ll be quoting some ‘couldn’t have put it better myself’ gems from other peoples experiences, such as:
Living in close proximity and experiencing adventures with others often results in strong emotions and great friendship. It is however important to consider that the special situation aboard, with a number of people on a small leisure boat, travelling in an essentially hostile environment, requires an unusual degree of social skills in the form of mutual consideration and tolerance, and the ability to discuss and resolve differences and problems openly. http://www.svlibertalia.com
…. although as mentioned previously we’ll be keeping the hostility to manageable levels.
Cruising is a shared endeavour and the work which sustains it is likewise shared. You’ll naturally want take part in cooking, helming, tidying, mending….. and you’re very welcome to get involved with whatever navigation or pilotage is required. We won’t be doing night sailing as a rule so there won’t be a formal watch system, more a case of taking turns to helm. Alibi has an autopilot system which will steer without human intervention, but use will be limited as it consumes precious battery power and anyway, steering is part of the fun.
Awareness – you’ll probably have a heightened awareness in any case, but it’s worth mentioning something about vigilance…. a boat is a potentially hazardous environment but it is made much safer if all aboard use their senses to good effect. Don’t be afraid to point things out and ask if you’re uncertain about them. “Should that fender be dragging in the water?” or “Is that line meant to be secured?” are questions which could avert mishap. Join in!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain