e return to a familiar theme this month, as we present our case for Booking By the Berth in a Bareboat Flotilla, and Charter Notes.
Pinch me, I think I'm sailing in a postcard. Idyllic, age-old harbors like this are a common sight in Greece and Croatia.
sailors can add to the fun, especially since couples or individuals who sign up for such adventures tend to be easygoing, gregarious and eager to pitch in and help with whatever tasks need doing — from trimming sails to galley duty. Also, in preparation for trips promoted by Bay Area sailing clubs, organizers usually host at least one pre-departure planning party to break the ice. We know that many lasting friendships have resulted from such adventures, and undoubtedly more than a few romances have been sparked also — although that probably shouldn't be your primary motivation for signing up. (See the sidebar below for a partial list of upcoming trips offered by Bay Area sailing schools. With most, you do not have to be a club member.) On such trips the focus is generally on fun, relaxation and getting to know foreign cultures, but a lot of valuable experiential learning takes place also, which could help prepare you for skippering your own boat — or charter boat — in foreign waters someday. In addition, some trips specifically focus on earning various levels of for mal credentialing. (And, of course, sea time acquired on such trips is acceptable if you ever apply for a US Coast Guard captain's CLUB NAUTIQUE
Sail, Don't Sulk: Our Cure for Wintertime Blues Here on the West Coast, as glorious autumn days are replaced by the cold, rainy days of winter, it's hard not to feel a bit gloomy. So consider this: The best way we know of to shake off the wintertime blues is to book a charter trip to some sun-kissed tropical sailing destination. Not only will the trip itself elevate your spirits, but the pre-trip anticipation of barefoot sailing, wearing nothing more than board shorts or bikinis; snorkeling in turquoise lagoons; and 'solving the world's problems' at palm-thatched beach bars will undoubtedly do wonders for your soul and psyche. What's that? You've got no one to travel with? No problemo. These days, with the crushing time demands that many employers require of their workers, it seems to be getting harder and harder to assemble a crew of your favorite sailing buddies to join you on a far-flung sailing getaway. That's precisely why many sailing schools, yacht clubs and charter operators organize multiple-boat sailing vacations to exotic locations. All you have to do to join the fun is sign up, put your cash on the barrel head and pack your sea bag. Typically, you can book a single berth or pay a bit more and have a cabin to yourself. While the idea of joining a boatload of folks that you've never met before may seem a bit daunting, in our experience getting to know a whole new group of
license.) In some cases a particular individual (other than a club employee) will volunteer to serve as captain in order to gain experience, but in all cases there will be one or more sailing school employees within the flotilla who serve as fleet leaders. They do the route planning, order provisions, and often provide or designate a captain for each boat in the flotilla, who will take responsibility for safely skippering the boat, and managing its onboard systems. Trips to some popular destinations attract a half dozen similar boats or more, which adds to the fun — and, of course, gives you more boats to race against as you travel from point to point. Much as we love to plug the trips offered by Bay Area sailing schools, there are also
DAVID KORY / TRADEWINDS
Above, the happy crew of Club Nautique charterers dinghy ashore during a Caribbean ﬂotilla cruise.
many, many scheduled sailing flotillas offered by large international charter outfits — particularly in Greece, Turkey, Croatia and various Caribbean islands. On most of these trips, you'll find yourself in the company of spirited Northern European sailors who tend to embrace the 'more-the-merrier' concept of boating. Europeans absolutely love large flotillas, and their enthusi-
The November 2017 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.