If you have ever had the pleasure of sailing a boat or being on board a sailing boat while chartering the oceans, then you will know just how amazing the feeling is and how great a choice it is for a way of taking a break from the normal day to day life habits that you are usually working your way through.
Everyone needs a holiday every now and again, even when you are one of the lucky percent that find their way to working in a job that they love, however even for those fortunate souls, holidaying and breaking away from the norm, doing something different and having some new experiences in new environments is (in our opinion) so important for maintaining a healthy and happy mind body and soul.
There are of course many ways that a person can go about their holiday plans, that will all depend on what they have been missing in their recent ‘normal’ life routine and there will be holidays to relax, holidays to experience, holidays to learn, holidays to party, romantic holidays, family holidays and solo self-development holidays; the ones where you go in search of yourself?
After we went on our first learn-to-sail holiday several years ago, we realised that we were getting a whole variety of experiences and enjoyments out of the one single holiday.
Ultimately the goal is to come out the other side with some new skills and perhaps one day, after a number of these learning to sail vacations, we might just have soaked up enough information and learned so much from the experienced teachers and sailing crews, that we would be able to gain enough skills and experience to attain a boat captains certificate & license and be able to charter a yacht ourselves or eventually as we had planned to buy our own yacht and liveaboard.
This might all sound like a pipe dream, but it is certainly a realistic goal and an amazing one at that! So we can really recommend this type of holiday as a fantastic way to ‘get away from it all’ and really de-stress oneself.
The feeling of being on the ocean and feeling the wind in your air, breathing in the freshest of air, is really an amazing feeling. Then due to the fact that you are learning a new skill and perhaps getting out of your normal ‘comfort zone’, you are usually going to be really just concentrating on what you are doing at that specific time, which is in a way providing a similar effect on the mind as you would get from meditating. So your mind is taken away from your usual thoughts and worries and put in a place of concentration.
After a week or two of this holidaying while learning, you will come back to your normal life feeling totally new and refreshed and ready to take on the world. Give it a try – you will be seriously impressed and surprised about how different the whole experience will make you feel.
So, you might now be buying into the idea of getting involved in the whole sailing sport and commencing by planning out where you will be going and who with, but where do you start?
What course should you be starting with you might ask?
What is the difference between the two main recognised sailing certificate authorities; RYA & ASA?
Don’t let these initial flood of questions put you off though, as it really is not so daunting when you get down to it – RYA is the sailing license obtained from UK licensing authorities & ASA is a license awarded by US sailing authorities and there really is not so many difference between the two. We did the UK RYA course, being based in the UK at the time. The RYA courses are thorough and offer a high learning schedule.
RYA is probably more widely recognised and trusted around the world and for this reason will likely open up more doors for you, the only draw-back would be in how it is a more intense course and perhaps takes more effort and is more taxing on your energy reserves.
So after deciding which license/sailing certificates you will be working towards, then what’s next?
Which course of the variety of different skills you need to be learning do you start with? Fortunately this is quite a simple decision to make due to the name of the course – ‘Start Yachting’.
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national body for all forms of boating under power or sail. Including dinghy and yacht racing, motor and sail cruising, RIBs and sports boats, powerboat racing, windsurfing, inland cruising and narrowboats, and personal watercraft.
There are two options with the RYA Training Courses. Firstly, a private course (you hire your own yacht and have your own dedicated instructor). Or the more usual and traditional course structure of mixed individuals course.
When following the RYA syllabus you need to successfully complete a theory section and a practical session before you are qualified. Carl did his theory Day Skipper and Yacht Master courses in a classroom environment, whereas Jenny did her Day skipper theory course online via www.Navathome.com.
Consider starting with “Competent Crew”, then moving on to “Day Skipper” Once qualified as a Day Skipper you also get the ICC, “International Certificate of Competence” which is recognised all over Europe and beyond. By being a member of the RYA you can apply for the ICC free of charge.
So now that you know more about how to get your ‘foot in the door’ and where you should get started when participating in a learn to sail holiday, why not start looking for the perfect place to go and start with your first sailing course. Go with some close friends or take the family and enjoy a unique vacation that will give you a much needed break away from all your normal life responsibilities.
We are almost certain you will be thankful for taking our advice and all being well; you will have taken your first steps towards a new hobby that you will thoroughly enjoy for many years to come.
For anyone thinking about giving Sailing a go, we can say with confidence that you will not regret it. A great place we recommend for you to get started with your first sailing course is Sail Ionian, based near Preveza, Greece, their boats and staff are second to none.
Added below are three books issued by the RYA which are really useful books to use (recommended) if you are going to do their courses. These are affiliate links so if you click on them and purchase from Amazon you still pay the same price but we get a small commission which helps to keep our Web pages/Youtube channel going.