A Journey on a Sailing Boat | Heaven or Hell?

A Journey on a Sailing Boat | Heaven or Hell?

Of all the travel experiences I did so far, one of the nicest but also more difficult is having a journey on a sailing boat. Under certain conditions sailing can prove to be quite a wild travel experience. Wonder why?


It’s a question of vital space, which on a sailboat is limited, and of adaptation to a few simple but strict rules. On a sailing boat the personal and collective emotions are amplified, both the good ones and the bad ones. There’s hardly a halfway…

A journey on a sailing boat can be pure heaven, or a hell of experience! There are many reasons for that but… Let’s start by the positive…

Heaven is: never wearing shoes, discovering wild and stunning places, the amazing view on land from the sea and a new perspective for the eyes, feeling free and totally surrounded by the nature and its elements, being active – whatever experience you might have – and having fun by giving you personal contribution, enjoying the silence, falling asleep while the boat is gently lulling, looking at the clouds, the sky and the sea and discovering how quickly they might change.Sailing-Eolie-islands

Hell is: having to limit water consumption or seeing people wasting water, suffering for the lack of space and privacy, bad weather and sea conditions because being sea sick is not much fun, be unwilling to give support or bearing people not collaborating to the normal daily duties, feeling trapped in a very small microcosm that does not have an easy escape hatch.

I had several journeys on a sailing boat. Some absolutely wonderful other a little more complicated, but always great experiences. But I have also seen long time friendships broke all of a sudden as well as unexpected  solidarity and fondness raising between people who did not know each other.

A journey on a sailing boat is really a challenge. A wonderful but sometimes wild journey

  • Pingback:New Zealand Into the Wind: Sailing Abel Tasman NP
    Posted at 23:33h, 05 January Reply

    […] A journey on a sailing boat can be pure heaven, but also hell…Β It depends, more than ever, on the travel companions (the concept is that you might somehow feel ‘trapped’ on the boat), thus at that time a short sail was the best possible option. […]

  • Erin
    Posted at 02:49h, 16 December Reply

    I really love the idea of sailing but we’ve never done a multi-day trip so we’ll have to see how we feel when we try it. I think we’ll start with the trip from Colombia to Panama (hopefully getting a boat that’s not too crowded). One problem is I do get motion sickess so I’ll have to stock up on dramamine!

    • waitinginthedark
      Posted at 08:50h, 23 December Reply

      Colombia to Panama….. Sounds great! Regarding motion sickness (until now, I’ve been lucky and never experienced it…) if you can find them I suggest you to try the patches. I’ve been told by all the people I know that they are the best option.
      I look forward to read about your sailing experience!

  • Melvin
    Posted at 19:18h, 01 December Reply

    I love boat trips, especially on sailing boats. Like you said, the quitness is wonderful. Using the nature to go forward rocks! Positive or negative can be the persons around you… like you said: both ways! πŸ™‚

    • waitinginthedark
      Posted at 20:04h, 04 December Reply

      So, Melvin, when are we leaving for a sailing trip? πŸ™‚ If we take with us Abi, Keith, Isabelle, Andy and Nellie that sure is great company!!!

  • Kelsey
    Posted at 13:20h, 20 October Reply

    I was a professional tall ship sailor for a good 7 years or so, and you summed this up quite well. After awhile, the water rationing, lack of showers, and constant motion do get to you, as do the idiosyncrasies of your fellow crew. Whenever people ask me about my sailing days, I say that “Sailing is a great way to get from one place to another, but not a great lifestyle choice” and I still stand by that. 2-4 weeks onboard is fine, but after doing a few multi-month races including one that involved two crossings of the Atlantic, I felt it was time to try my luck on shore.

    • waitinginthedark
      Posted at 11:57h, 21 October Reply

      WoW! Kelsey, you’re a girl full of surprises!
      I didn’t know you had been a professional sailor and that you crossed the Atlantic. That’s quite an impressive adventure.
      I am only an amateur, so it’s nice to know that even experienced sailors as you are share my views on sailing trips.

  • FatCatAnna
    Posted at 04:55h, 06 October Reply

    I just wrote a few blogs about my sailing trip last month – but in my own boat (30′ Catalina). Ventured out on the mini-ocean of Lake Ontario – everyday was “high wind warning” – waves of 2-3 metres – confused seas :S . Had good days / bad days of traveling – but overall – quite the experience to say the least. I would love to do the coastal route from my home port of Cornwall, Ontario to Caribbean one day – but that’ll be when I have more R&R – still a working stiff. Also, having a 3rd crew member would be nice when things get abit hectic πŸ™‚

    You can read a little bit more about my trip at this link – http://www.diabetes1.org/blogs/Annas_Blog/I_survived_sailing_on_Lake_Ontario_despite_thoughts_of_mutiny

    • waitinginthedark
      Posted at 00:52h, 10 October Reply

      Your own boat Catalina, Lake Ontario… sounds fascinating! I’ll surely keep an eye on your awesome trips!

  • Michael Hodson
    Posted at 16:10h, 02 October Reply

    I know how you feel. I did a 5 day sail from Panama to Colombia, which would have been even better, but there were WAY too many people on the boat. I love the feeling of sailing. It is so peaceful.

    • admin
      Posted at 09:58h, 04 October Reply

      Yes, too many people can be an issue, because the more sailing companions there are, the higher are the chances that something might be wrong. But you got the peaceful sensation of sailing. That’s the most important thing.

  • Mary R
    Posted at 09:08h, 20 September Reply

    This is such an interesting post. I was just thinking the other day about researching more on this topic, as sailing around the world seems such an exciting and adventurous and even peaceful idea.

    I don’t think I’d mind the small space at all, but the motion sickness… another story.

    • admin
      Posted at 00:35h, 21 September Reply

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Mary. Well… let’s say that motion sickness is very bad, but ‘bad company sickness’ is even worse. For the former you now at least that sooner or later it will stop, but your sailing ‘companions’ are likely to follow you until destination… πŸ™‚

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