Imagine that you have just anchored your sailing yacht in the middle of a calm bay. You are looking at a turquoise crystal clear waters that surround you as the fresh breeze blows through your hair. Just before you jump into the alluring water, your sweetheart brings you a glass of ice-cold freshly squeezed lime juice garnished with mint leafs. I too like this idea but, it is time to stop daydreaming. I am about to share with you something completely different…
The refreshment program I have in mind has to do with helping you achieve the mood illustrated above. I have been frequently asked about some sort of sailing school that prepares people to sail the yacht independently. Lots of leisure sailors have attended some kind of sailing school or sailing course but have not gained enough experience to sail on their own. Sometimes, this has to do with their lack of self-confidence. In both cases, some sort of refreshment program would be the solution.
Unlike standard sailing schools, where they teach you basics, theory, the principles of making the way under sails, physics etc; refreshment programs are there to prepare you to handle the sailing yacht by yourself. So, if you already possess the license but you haven’t been navigating for a while, or you are fresh in ‘these waters’, do not hesitate to contact your charter company and ask about the refreshment program. It’s tailor-made to teach you all you need to know about the procedures required to rent the yacht.
The experienced skipper is there to take you through all the administration and documentation you will ever need to take the sailing trip in that specific country or area. Furthermore, he will show you all the tricks about berthing and anchoring maneuvers, along with the basic sailing tricks. At the end of the day, you will be acquainted with all safety procedures and precautions, radio communication and maritime traffic rules. Above all, you will learn all about logistic and provision details regarding the organization of your own sailing trip. This is something that most of the handbooks just mention but don’t go into details. At this point you will find out how local knowledge can be helpful, sometimes essential.
Refreshment programs are usually organized as weekend courses or can last longer, on demand. Earning your skipper’s license is just the first step to becoming ‘a real sailor’. The rest of it is up to you and the time spent under the sails. Refreshment program will certainly help you boost your sailing confidence and get closer to the image illustrated at the beginning of this post.
I wish you a calm sea, a fair wind and a strong mast!