1. The Wonder of Sailing with Block and Tackle
Sailing is the perfect active holiday. If you wanted some recreational time that sees you moving around, sailing delivers. There’s nothing like moving around a deck and pulling your weight on board to get your blood flowing and keeping warm. However, once you’re warm, keeping warm depends on the right choice of clothing.
2. The Wonders of a Woolen Hat
Woollen hats are great, however, make sure that you bring along two spares. Many people may shy away from woollen caps due to the fact that they have a reputation for being itchy. Stick to Merino Wool and opt for chunky knits – with a fleecy inner liner. Make sure that the hats fit properly – an errant gust of wind onboard and your hat will be setting out on its own, personal voyage. No Baseball caps – you are not in the major leagues – and let your beard and hair grow out. You can groom once you get home.
3. Ensure the Health of your Kidneys
It almost goes without saying that on a sailing holiday, the Captain and party will be on the hunt for the wind. That wind tends to whistle around the lower part of your body – and can hit your lower back – leading to elevated symptoms of discomfort. Don’t come on board with low-slung jeans – leave that to the plumbers. There is no such thing as ‘Seaman’s Crack’ – kidneys remain covered while at sea.
4. The Importance of Eye Protection – and Sunscreen
Sunlight reflects off the surface of the salt water – and it can be extremely bright. The Northerlies also bring ultra-clear air and high UV numbers. You could don a bikini – but is certainly not recommended. You’re aiming for that weather-beaten look. Windswept, tanned and interesting – a la Captain Poldark. Not the post-bank-holiday boiled lobster look.
5. Be Strategic about Waterproofing – and Cut Down on Windchill
The age-old argument of ‘cream or jam first?’ when faced with a West Country Scone can see tempers flare. So which first – trousers or a jacket? The short answer is to make use of the ship’s ‘salopettes’ (waterproof trousers that reach your armpits). They’ll keep your core warm in most weather conditions – and allow you freedom of movement. Don’t go overboard with the ‘Musto’ look. Keep the jacket in reserve for those times when it starts to come down in buckets.
Wickenroy Pavitt provides boat cushions as well as other accessories to make your boat more comfortable.
6. Take Many Socks – and a Buff
Good quality boots and thick socks are my absolute favourite combo. You simply don’t have time to dry socks onboard, unless those in the engine room take pity on you (or you have mod cons such as a stove or radiators on board). (Tecla, Hildur, and Europa have radiators and Eda has a hot towel rail). That Buff is a tubular piece of fabric that provides the same levels of warmth as a scary – but without those potentially dangerous trailing ends.
7. Jumper Numbers
It depends on how many you can fit into your rucksack – and good luck fitting one of those chunky Norwegian fisherman’s jerseys into your pack. I for one would rather lift one from an unwary Norwegian fisherman (joking). If the voyage is going to last between 3 and 30 days then you’ll want to pack at least three long-sleeved thermals. Also, include two fairly thin Merino jumpers and one really chunky item – it’ll give you a lift on those really nippy days. Don’t let the resemblance to Bjork or Shackleton stop you – you’ll feel great even in the harshest of conditions.
8. Your Hands are Waterproof
Who knew that if you handle wet ropes with gloves on that the gloves will get soaking wet? Taking them off to raid the pantry will only mean that you are faced with the impossible task of getting them back on again. Those glowing red hands that are the result of handling wet ropes on the High Seas may not be everyone’s cup of tea – so glove up if you want. Try some cheap(ish) skiing gloves. At this time of year, leather sailing gloves will be freezing. With practice you will develop callouses – and I prefer the bare-handed approach. If your hands get chilly – shove them up your sleeves, and embrace your inner child. Fluffy pockets can also be a treat (especially on sailing jackets). Save your nice dry gloves for handling the tiller or wheel.
9. The Nightime Hottie
My experience of filling 12 hot water bottles in a Brixham trawler was not a great all-night, kettle-based experience. Insider tip – if you really are chilly then offer to help out with the after-dinner washing and sneak in some water for your hot water bottle.