Our guest blogger and fellow sailor, Louise Kennedy, shares some tips for when it’s time to drop anchor after traversing the deep blue sea. As a frequent guest blogger, Louise has offered some great advice for travellers planning their next boat holiday. From tips on how to keep cool while sailing under the summer heat to predicting the weather, Louise’s knowledge and love of sailing is apparent in her stories and advice both in our magazine and on her blog, Sandy Toes and Writer Woes. Read on to learn more about how to spend a day on anchor.
After all of the excitement of preparing for a trip and the actual sailing, when you find yourself on anchor in a beautiful place, what do you do?
Your options are endless! There are always things that you can do on the boat. Cleaning, and tidying are daily jobs if you want to keep the boat ready for anything. Keeping things neatly stowed and making sure the dishes are washed and put away means if you need to leave unexpectedly, or there’s a big swell, you won’t be caught out. Conscientious crew will make sure the boat is ready to set sail if needed. If you keep on top of these things they don’t take very long and then you have the rest of the day for fun things.
As I’ve mentioned before in my dinghy daytrips post, one of my favourite ways to spend a day on anchor is to go out exploring in the dinghy. You can also swim, snorkel or even dive if you have the equipment. I love swimming ashore with a pair of flip-flops in hand and taking a stroll along the beach. Once you’re at the beach you can search for shells or sea glass. A simple ball can provide hours of entertainment if there are a couple of you feeling active. A BBQ on the beach with a sunset can be the highlight of any day. (Make sure you take a torch so you can take everything you came with back to the boat.)
Preparing food and really taking the time to enjoy a nice lunch or dinner is very enjoyable on anchor. If you’ve been eating quick easy meals or prepared meals whilst you’ve been sailing, spending time in the galley with fresh ingredients from the local shop will feel like a well-earned luxury.
I’m an avid reader and there’s nowhere better than a warm, shady cockpit to lie back and enjoy a good book. It’s also a very inspiring environment if you’re creative. I write best when we’re on anchor. I’ve seen people drawing, painting and even sewing and playing instruments. Basically whatever you enjoy doing on land will generally transport to the boat and be even better! You might need to be creative, but that’s part of the fun.
Another fun thing to do whilst on anchor is to meet other sailors and cruisers. We’ve met lifelong friends this way. Lots of sailors share similar interests and values and you can always learn lots from other people. Meeting people with lots of experience and hearing their stories is a lovely way to pass an afternoon or an evening. It’s always fun to see other people’s boats too. If you are shy and not sure how to approach another boat, a polite way would be to pass by them slowly in the dinghy and wave or say hello. It’s usually pretty easy to strike up a conversation about where you’ve come from and no one can resist compliments about their boat! Whatever nationality they are sailors all speak a common language; we love the sea and being close to nature.
Make sure you take the time to watch and appreciate the sunset whilst you’re on anchor; it’s one of the most magical moments on a sailboat and the perfect way to end the day.
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