What will I do on an adventure sailing voyage?
For many people this might be the first time they step aboard a sailing vessel, but don’t worry, this is a new experience for the vast majority of people that take part in an adventure voyage. You don’t need to be an expert by any means — just lots of enthusiasm…
At its heart your week-long adventure voyage (or more in the case of the Tall Ships) involves helping to crew a traditional sailing vessel on a voyage to a number of new destinations.
The exact route you take will depend on the weather, and particularly the wind. That means we don’t decide exactly where to go in advance but plan the route as we go along — so no two voyages are ever the same.
During the week you will get involved in all the activities on board the ship. That includes hoisting sails, steering, keeping watch, changing course and helping to plan which places to visit.
As well as learning lots of new sailing skills everyone helps out with other parts of life on board — including helping to prepare and cook meals for the whole ship’s company and helping with tidying and cleaning up. Mealtimes are all shared together in the ‘saloon’ and between meals there are drinks, snacks and fresh fruit to keep your energy up.
A typical day on board:
- Tidy up and prepare boat for sea
- Set sail for a new destination
- Sailing: time to learn about navigation, seamanship, knots
- Lunch on the move
- Take the helm, keep lookout, watch out for wildlife and land ahead
- Arrive at new anchorage or port
- Swim, go beachcombing, explore ashore
- Evening meal on board, or maybe BBQ ashore
- Review the day’s progress and plan ahead, free time, evening events
When you arrive on board you can choose your berth for the week and then have time to unpack and settle in, stowing your belongings in the storage spaces provided. Before setting sail we will explain how to do things safely and what to do in an emergency. You will be able to talk through the options for the destinations you might want to visit and, based on the weather and wind conditions, make a rough itinerary for your voyage.
Then it is all hands on deck to weigh anchor and leave harbour, hoist sails for the first time and get used to the motion of the ship as she heads for the first destination.
The first day’s voyage will normally be a short one, with time to explore ashore before enjoying dinner and discussing plans for the following day. Next morning, after breakfast, the first long passage of the week begins.
Each day, as well as sailing, there will be somewhere new to visit: quiet coves with sandy beaches, sheltered rivers, secluded islands, bustling fishing villages and picturesque ports. There may be opportunities for night sailing under the stars, and watching the sunset and sunrise.
Sailing is a wonderful way to get away from it all, do something different, meet new people and discover more about yourself and what you are capable of doing. Working as part of a team in new surroundings, facing and overcoming the challenges of the sea, making new friends and learning new skills is exciting and very satisfying.
At the end of the voyage you will get a voyage completion certificate, recording the places visited, the weather encountered and the number of miles travelled. You can also work towards the syllabus for a Royal Yachting Association course, and if successful you will leave with an RYA certificate and personal logbook.
One of the main things we ask of everyone joining an adventure voyage is that they be respectful of others, be responsible for yourself and your team mates, work hard and put lots of effort in (you’ll get more back), always involve and support other people and ultimately…have loads of FUN!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things 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.