If you are like most, have a full time job and family and don’t have the luxury of sailing whenever you get the whim, then chances are if you are wanting to get out in the water you may only get the chance to go for a day sail more often than not. While we would all love to spend a week out at sea every few months for some of us it is just not possible so to still get our fix we have to head out into the open seas as often as we can even if it means only being out there for an evening or a day. So how do you make sure you can get the most out of your day sail to optimize your time on the water and make it as stress free and fun as possible; here are a few suggestions that will have you out on the water and as relaxed and ready for fun as possible.
Now It’s not always possible to plan ahead too far in advance as weather patterns and swell conditions can change, but there are still a few things you can have ready and prepared so that when you see the perfect conditions head your way just in time for the weekend you can almost ready to jump on board and set sail.
This may sound like an obvious one, but making sure your boat and equipment is clean can be a real time saver. This is always best done straight after your last sail. Make sure to really clean the deck and cabin, if cushions need washing them take them back with you and get it done. As you know with sailing it’s important to keep everything, no matter how weather proof, clean of salt so take the time to give your ship a good clean out after each trip, this way you wont be hurrying to do it the night before. If it’s been a while in between sails then make sure to do a check up and clean out every few weeks.
– Checking equipment
Every sailor knows you need to keep on top of equipment maintenance. If you are not sailing to often still do regular check ups of your equipment to make sure everything is working especially your safety gear. Electronic equipment is made to be reliable but still with a lot of exposure to sun and sea things can go wrong. So make sure before each sail you do your own checks ups, that way if there is a problem you can get it fixed in time for your next adventure and don’t get caught out finding you have malfunctioning equipment the only day you have off to go sailing all month!
– Plan your route
If you are able to have a bit of foresight into the weather before you go out then it’s great to pre plan your route. Knowing where you want to head, if you will be mooring at all and going to shore. That way you will be able to make a suitable list of things you will need to prepare for your destination.
– Have a checklist!
Most importantly make yourself a checklist. You can make a basic one that you can use for every sea voyage, reminding you about safety gear and other things you may keep at home but need for the boat. If you have a good checklist then it’s a lot easier to keep track of exactly what you need and not get caught out once you are on your sailing boat by something you’ve forgotten.
– Book Ahead
If you are going to be doing a day trip that involved mooring off somewhere for a while, then make sure you book ahead and check with the right authorities if there is space and if you are able to moor on those dates. No good turning up and not being able to tie up.
Get Out Early
To make the most of your day trip, get out on the water as early as possible. If you’ve done all your planning in the week leading up then you should be able to just roll out of bed and head down to the harbor at first light. If you only have your one day of sailing every month or so then you want to be making the most out of it. So set sail and dawn and don’t come back until dusk. Make sure you have the rest of your weekend planned and sorted before you go out so that you can stay out as late as possible without spending the afternoon stressing about being back in time for dinner or to prepare things for work or a gathering the following day. If you’re all pre planned not just for your trip but also for your next few days then you will be able to have a stress free day adventure.
If one of your plans for your day is to go ashore then make sure you have everything prepared, for the picnic or hike you may be doing. Take a few small backpacks and remember to bring water bottles so you can stay hydrated on land. Pre plan where you will be going ashore so that you know where it is safe to moor or drop anchor.
Staying on Deck
Don’t be afraid to keep your day trip a strictly on board affair. If you only have a day out on the sea why not make the most of it and enjoy lounging around on deck. Pack a picnic lunch and even dinner and a little wine and just enjoy being out on the open seas without the stress of having to jam pack too much in to your day trip. It’s okay to not do too much and just relax, this is your adventure after all!
You can be the most planned person out there and still something can go slightly wrong and your plans will have to change, so it’s important to be able to be flexible. Always have a few other options in mind, and if you’re not one hundred percent certain about the weather then make sure you have a few plan B’s and C’s in mind.
Remember to relax and enjoy just being out on the open water. Your day trip is the perfect way to rejuvenate yourself and get back your excitement for adventure and love of the ocean. Let the salty air calm you and let yourself just be present in the moment.