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Adventure & Impact Sailing Opportunities for August and September | 2019

Here are the latest sailing opportunities I have (co) – created to connect you to the sea, yourself, and to others like you.

We’re all on similar journeys, dreaming and doing about ocean adventures and to make a positive impact around us. We have brilliant ideas, projects, dream, actions, and desires for experiences, learning, connection, and to be part of something. We’re looking to connect with others honouring simple and sustainable lifestyles. But alone we can only do so much! 

With Ocean Nomads, I aim to connect more of you to nature and each other. With trips and soon also a community app. For now, the following trips have been planned to help you accelerate your adventures and journeys and connections. I hope to welcome you on board!

Eco Day Sail in Amsterdam & Ijsselmeer with Sailmate | August 2019

Anna and I met over the internet, and then sailed together for a week in Sicily last year. We connected well, and have been eager to do more, team up, make impact and have fun. Anna is a German living and loving the Netherlands. And I’m a Dutchy living and loving anywhere but in the Netherlands. So it’s about time to sail in Holland, isn’t it? Together we want to reach & connect more people with the same interest.

We’ll organize numerous eco-minded daytrips that you can join as an individual or with a group (max 4). It are full day sails including lunch and much more. A unique, nature-minded and adventurous way to experience Amsterdam.
What? Exclusive Eco Day Sail Experience in Amsterdam
When? August 24 and 25. Enquire for other dates.
Where? Amsterdam

Connecting to your Self & the Ocean of Possibilities through Yoga & Sailing | September 7 – 14

For being able to take responsibility for the outside world, to fight for what you believe in we need to take care of the self. Being centered in your inner source of strength and having your reason for being on this planet clear supports your mission in the outside world. One boat, a bunch of ocean lovers and 7 days of exploration of your inner world.

Nicole and I studied, travelled, worked and lived together. And our mentor always said we should put our strengths together and make things happen. Here we are! This September we rent a boat in Croatia and invite a few souls looking to connect to nature, but above all, the inner self. Nicole is a highly qualified yoga instructor, coach, and super empathic well-being accelerator. She’ll run the program aimed to make you feel your best self. I’ll run the boat.

What? Connecting to your innerself. Yoga, Meditation, Sailing & Adventure

When? September 7 – 14 2019

Where? Croatia

Learn more and jump on board

 

Meet your Adventure & Impact-driven Tribe & Accelerate the dreams and impact | Ocean Nomads Croatia Flotilla  August 31 – September 7

With this event, we aim to connect ocean adventurers and change-makers for maximum fun and impact, at sea! With multiple sailing boats, we’ll facilitate the connection between a beautiful mix of purpose-driven salty souls and between you and nature. As a group we can explore the edges of the ideal. We’ll share ideas, skills, knowledge, support, connections, and above all: fun ocean adventure time!

What? Connecting Dreamers & Doers at Sea. Adventure, Fun, Sustainability & Networking.
When? August 31 – September 7 2019
Where? Croatia

Learn more and jump on board

 

You can also hire me as captain or crew or to organize you personalized epic ocean adventure.

 

Not able to join now? Or not sure yet? Learn more on OceanNomads.co, Check out some testimonials, Subscribe to the Ocean Nomads newsletter to be updated about the next spontaneous sailing trips, meet-ups, crew opportunities and the next steps of this movement. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to prepare, assess safety and minimize risk as crew? | Sailing across the Atlantic

How to prepare, assess safety and minimize risk as crew before sailing an ocean?

Even in this era of satellite phones, safety and rescue technology, and communication systems, the nearest help can still be hundreds of miles away when sailing across an ocean. What can happen on an ocean crossing? A lot! You can get sick, fall overboard, hit something, lose the rig, have a fire, get water in the boat, rip the sails, break a leg, or in the worst-case scenario, sink. Airplanes crash. Cars crash. So do boats. To be blunt, shit happens. The Atlantic has no reefs or rocks in the middle, so the risk factor of hitting something is extremely low. Still, you could hit another boat, a whale or a floating container. These are rare scenarios, but it could happen. You need to rely on yourself. That’s why it’s so important that the boat is as safe and as prepared as it can be. And so are you as Atlantic sailing crew! To be ready to expect the unexpected, careful investigation and preparation is essential. 

How can you minimise risk and negative consequences as a crew member? What to be alert for as ocean sailing crew? What to consider for safety sailing gear for crew? What can you do as crew to prepare?

Here is an offshore sailing safety checklist for crew

Check the state of the boat

Your life depends on the condition of the boat. Check (or have someone to check) the hull, rig, sails, pumps, engine, and sails. Have new installations been tested? Are there spares and kit for repairs? Is there enough carrying capacity for fuel and water and back up water? 

Check safety equipment on board

Make sure that the boat you hop on has the essential and preferably recommended (serviced) sailing safety gear and measures, like communication technology (VHF, Satellite phone), radar, radar reflector, foghorn, a liferaft, man over board equipment flares, fire fighting equipment, EPIRB, a manual bildgepump, a bucket, extra lines, a storm sail, storm anchor, spares, spares, and spares. (Find explanations and checklists in Ocean Nomad).

Check and prepare personal sailing safety gear

What to bear in mind in terms of sailing safety gear for crew? Be sure that you as crew have a life jacket and safety line. An ocean- worthy life jacket is different from the one they have for you on the ferry or below your airplane seat. Captains often provide these but certainly not always. Be sure there is one for you on board. The most comfortable one will be one that is your own. Consider investing in one yourself. You will wear it for dozens of hours during the ocean crossing. They come in all sorts and sizes. Life jackets are graded by flotation capacity. A 150N (N stands for Newton and refers to how buoyant they are) jacket is the minimum recommended standard for offshore sailing. Life jackets should at least have a light, reflector and spray hood. Also, harnesses should be on board, so you will able to clip yourself. Life jackets carry gas cylinders to inflate them (check if they are serviced). If you are planning to fly with a life jacket, contact the airline in advance to receive approval to carry one.

Reduce risk especially if you’re planning to join sailing regattas and races and get yourself a pair of gloves. Fingers don’t like to be caught in winches. 

A pocket knife/ yacht knife can be a useful item in the safety sailing gear kit for rigging, fixing, cutting, measuring, chopping. Boats have tools too; it’s not a must. But who knows, it may save your life in an emergency! If you pack a knife, pack one with a blade that can cut a rope. 

Be water proof. You can have all sorts of weather: from freezing cold and wet to tropical heat. Most likely you will have some chilly days and squalls. The northern route requires more warm clothes than the southern route, and wet weather gear is a must. The answer: bring layers! You’ll thank yourself for having a good waterproof jacket and for having a dry set of clothes. It would be more comfortable to have foul weather sailors’ jacket and pants, but you don’t need advanced sailing gear just for the crossing. 

Find an offshore sailing gear checklist in book Ocean Nomad. Here I wrote a blog with a summer sailing packing list from which you could take away some tips too.


Assess competence on board

To a large extent, the state of the boat is also a reflection of the captain’s personality and capabilities. Do your research on the background of the boat, captain and fellow crew. The people you share the adventure with either make or break the experience. Realise that anyone can buy a boat without experience or license. It is vital that you get along with the people on board, trust in the captain’s abilities, and feel safe. Learn as much as you can about the captain, crew and boat to figure out the state of preparation. Meet up beforehand, fix things together and go for a sail. This will give you an insight into the captain’s personality, values, competencies and problem-solving skills. And it works vice versa of course. Make sure you get a sailing crew safety briefing. Find the checklists in book Ocean Nomad.

Be insured

  1. Be sure that the ship has proper insurance and that you are not financially liable in the event of major damage or even worse, a sunken boat. 
  2. Make sure that you have good travel and liability insurance. I recommend TopSail for sailing crew insurance. For medical travel insurance for nomads SafetyWing can be a good solution. It works with many nationalities and can be obtained on the way. It also covers offshore sailing!

 

Have a backup plan

Sailboats deal with seasons, routes, weather, breakage, and all sorts of variables. By thinking about scenarios in advance makes it easy to peacefully change course and comply with Captains’ calls. Should the trip not go as planned, have a backup plan, including an emergency budget to sustain yourself or to book a flight, should the trip not go as planned. 

Check the drinking water situation

Calculate if there’s enough water on board, and if a backup system is in place (such as a water maker, or two tanks, with one closed). Think about:

    • The number of crew, length of the passage, capacity of the water tank, estimated days of sailing + extra emergency days. Each person needs at least three liters of water for drinking only.
    • Make sure there’s a backup plan for contaminated tank water. If there’s only one water tank, you need to have backup water, just in case the tank gets contaminated or salty.
    • Bring a filter water bottle for yourself so you can filter water at all times.

Develop seamanship skills

Know the bearings. Learn about the passage, seasons, distance, destinations, weather, costs, and tasks involved

Map of Atlantic Crossing Sailing Routes. Originally published in Ocean Nomad – The Complete Atlantic Sailing Crew Guide

Learn the basics of how to use the radio. Note that only those with a VHF certificate or with the assistance of a certificate holder you are allowed to use the radio. It’s not a toy. If there’s one thing you learn about radio, learn how and when to do a Mayday call. 

Learn the essential knowledge regarding the Rules with other vessels. NauticEd has a free course on navigation rules.

Learn how to read the weather, on charts as well as from changing weather patterns when looking around. This can literally be a lifesaver! Being up-to-date on the weather is the most sensible prevention measure you can take to reduce risk. Study the weather patterns on your planned route, and learn how to read grib files, simplified low data weather data charts. Learn about weather patterns and reading

Learn about sea survival, maintenance of safety gear, life rafts, storm sailing, firefighting, search and rescue procedures, seasickness, and communication at sea. If you have the budget for a course, consider obtaining the STCW10 certificate. This is a basic safety certificate where you learn about personal safety and survival, firefighting, first aid/CPR, and personal safety and social responsibility.

Be prepared for first aid

Have someone (or a good book) on board with first aid knowledge.

Make sure there is a well-equipped medical kit on board, including prescription drugs and pain relief.

If no one on board has specific First Aid knowledge, is there a specialist contact you can call with the satellite phone in the event of an emergency?

Prepare for seasickness

Most people, including captains and professional crew, get seasick, some more severely than others. It’s quite normal, especially during the first few days of an ocean passage. How to prepare for seasickness?

  • Have seasickness medicine, ginger candy, biscuits and mineral electrolyte solution as part of your kit. Test seasickness medicine before to see how your body reacts. 
  • The day before:
    • Eat super healthy and light.
    • Be well hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Don’t drink alcohol, coffee or black tea. That dehydrates.
  • A few hours before sailing out:
    • Take seasickness medication.
    • Have your clothes, head torch, sunscreen, water bottle, sickness bag, and all you need for watch and sleeping, ready to grab. You’ll be okay doing watch, and you’ll be fine lying on your back in bed with your eyes closed. It’s just the areas between bed and cockpit that are the challenging zones to navigate when you’re seasick.
  • Have some crackers ready to nibble on.

I usually get seasick first day at sea. But I know how to deal with it and remain a competent crew. I prefer seasickness over the side effects of seasickness medication. It makes me a more useful crew member. More on dealing with seasickness at sea in book Ocean Nomad.

Take care of your health and comfort

We can only be our best if we feel our best. As crew you are on board to help everything run smoothly, so better stay healthy onboard. Be and stay fit, so you can deal with any situation that crops up. Besides seasickness, a few of the biggest health risks on board are sunburn, dehydration, food poisoning, insect bites, wounds, contaminated water, and just general well-being. How can you personally prepare to stay on top of your health on an ocean crossing?

  • Be well rested before the crossing. 
  • Rest well when you are not on watch. Is your boat bed rocking-proof? Do you have a lee cloth? If not, make one. You won’t be the first being thrown out of bed.
  • Do you have a specific diet, allergy or medical condition? Prepare for that yourself and inform fellow crew in advance.
  • Any tooth problems? Have it checked before you go! There’s no dentist on the ocean.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle and have it with you to remind yourself to drink enough.
  • Also, include a filter water bottle as part of your kit, so you have clean drinking water at all times and can drink straight from the tank in case the boat doesn’t have a water filtration system (yet!).
  • Start fit and stay fit. See the health kit in Ocean Nomad for more suggestions on what to bring. Also, provisioning makes a huge difference to how you will feel for the weeks at sea.
  • Wear a cap, sunglasses, and mineral-based sunscreen.

About the set sail for the fourth Atlantic Crossing

Be able to communicate

Is there a satellite phone on board? Or another device to send/receive data at sea for weather info and/or emergencies? The most important is that there is a way to check the weather. 

  • Make sure the communication equipment onboard has been tested.
  • Save emergency numbers in the satellite phone and write them down and put them in a visible spot.

Have a Personal GPS. A personal tracking device is a cost-effective possibility that allows text communication, location tracking, and emergency alerts in the unlikely event that you get lost at sea, or anywhere. This may be welcome to have if you’re doing solo watches or plan to explore foreign lands on your own after the sailing adventure. Above all, don’t fall overboard. Ever. I only got one this year and wished I got it from my very first offshore passage. Since last Atlantic crossing with 50 knots of wind and solo watches, I’m not compromising on this safety device. After a serious investigation of personals locator beacons I got myself a Garmin Inreach Mini. Still affordable, as small and light as it can get and with 2-way communication possibilities. 

Know the boat

Learn how the boat works as soon as possible. Walk all the lines. Observe, learn and memorise. Learn how the different systems on board work. Know where all safety equipment is located (Grab bag, flares, life jackets, fire extinguishers, life raft, MOB gear, first aid kit). If something happens to the skipper and/or other capable crew, someone’s got to be able to take over.

Don’t forget to tell mum

Make sure someone knows where you are. Give the home base contact details, such as the satellite phone number, captain’s number, and details of crew members and their family. 

Show your family/friends how to use marinetraffic.com. If the boat you are on has an AIS transponder, you are traceable in the VHF radio zone. Tell them that the boat can disappear from the radar when you’re out of the radio zone (+/– 50 miles from coast). You don’t want them to call Search & Rescue because your boat has disappeared from the map! Mums have done this before and it can turn out to be a costly call.

Nearly all boats making an ocean crossing will have satellite phone and/or SSB radio on board. Both systems can send and receive text and email when you’re out of the coastal radio zone. They are expensive to use, so don’t expect to be able to call home except in an emergency. Family and friends can often send messages to the phone for free though, so that’s cool! 

Some boats may have a tracking device that sends out a GPS signal every hour or so your family and friends can trace you. The Garmin Inreach I have also does that.

Fair winds!

Things will happen. It’s all part of the adventure. Hop on board with an ‘it can be done’ attitude, be inventive, alert and well-prepared, and you can tackle whatever situation comes up.

All you really need is water, food, a compass, and a (paper) chart of the Atlantic. The rest is a bonus, safety measure, or an extra headache. Equipment can make the ride more comfortable and safe but also more complicated. Every addition costs maintenance and money. Every boat has its problems. Boat works are ongoing. Stuff breaks and has to be repaired all the time, so don’t freak out. This is perfectly normal. And you actually learn most on boats where things break. It just makes it extra important to figure out if the captain and crew are well prepared, competent and positively vibed. If something is nagging inside of you, don’t do it. Follow your instinct. Opportunities come along all the time. 

There will always be a risk. But what’s life without it?

There is a lot more to say about this. That’s why I wrote a book 🙂 Learn more about finding and assessing rides across the Atlantic in Ocean Nomad: the Complete Atlantic Sailing Crew Guide – Catch a Sailboat Ride & Contribute to a healthier ocean. Grab your copy to be well prepared and sure about your ride! 

Download the E-Book here

Or grab a print edition in a bookstore near you, at Bol.com or Amazon.

Do you have more questions? Write in the comments, contact me for a virtual coconut or join me and a bunch of other Ocean Nomads (of which several sailing across the Atlantic) on our next sailing and sustainability adventure sail in Croatia.

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How to make DIY Natural Sunscreen | Simple, Quick & Easy

One ocean solution option against the use of chemical sunscreens is to make your own DIY mineral-based sunscreen. It’s fun. It’s easy and so far as the research and testing goes, a better option for your own and the ocean’s health than chemical-based sunscreen affecting ocean health. Here is an easy and quick DIY natural sunscreen recipe.

(& Here is an extensive blog post about sunscreen and the environment and our health).

How does DIY mineral based sunscreen protect you from the sun?

The sun blocking ingredient in DIY sunscreen is Zinc Oxide (or also used: titanium oxide). These minerals reflect rays and work as a shield as opposed to the chemical sunscreens that our body absorbs. Every percentage of zinc in the mix is around SPF 2.  So if your blend is 10% zinc and 90% other oils you have a sunscreen of SPF 20. Additionally, different oils have a certain SPF as well (though no hardcore data on this exist), and feed the skin.

Is DIY mineral based Sunscreen risky and dangerous?

The reasoning that some articles claim that DIY sunscreen is dangerous is because you can’t verify the SPF with homemade sunscreens. So you’re not that sure on how long it will work and how often you have to re-apply. The mainstream sunscreen may have a more accurate SPF and big budgets to test and improve but they also have hormone disrupters, chemicals, ocean killing ingredients, and commercial interest. Above all, sunscreen is the last resort. Before you use sunscreen, do everything else right in the first place.

I just made my first sunscreen and I would like to share the result and lessons learned with you.

Words of warning: I’m not a trained or professional cosmetic creator. I’m simply curious, creative and looking for simple and natural ways to make a positive impact on the ocean and the people around. I research far and beyond to get to well-researched data to make it easier for you to make better decisions. Use this advice with caution and find out what works best for you, while considering the health of the ocean we’re all dependent on.

How to Make DIY natural Sunscreen?

Step 1. Source the natural sunscreen ingredients

Ingredients for DIY mineral-based sunscreen:

  • Coconut Oil (SPF 4-6)
  • Almond Oil (SPF 5)
  • Jojoba Oil (SPF 4)
  • Rose Hip Oil
  • Zinc Oxide Powder (Every % of the total mix is +/-1 SPF 2)
  • Shea Butter (SPF 4-6)
  • Cacao butter
  • Love <3

Finding the ingredients for this natural sunscreen is the most time-consuming part. I did the leg work for you. At the end of this blog, I recommend some places (in different countries) where you can source the ingredients.

Other cold-pressed oils can be considered too. Have a look what you have in your house or boat already.  The main working ingredient is Zinc Oxide. The different oils also have an SPF (especially seed oils are said to generally have a high protection factor). But I haven’t found hardcore data on the true SPF of the different oils. Also, some oils smell nicer than others. Here are some more oils to consider that I’ve seen being used in sunscreens:

  • Olive Oil  – 2-8
  • Hemp Seed Oil – SPF 6
  • Macadamia Oil – SPF 6
  • Carrot Seed Oil – SPF 38 – 40
  • Avocado Oil – 4 – 10 (can get as high as 15)
  • Sesame Seed Oil – SPF 4
  • Raspberry Seed Oil (SPF 25-50)

I visited tons of blogs on DIY sunscreen recipes. Also, I’ve looked at the ingredient lists of numerous mineral-based sunscreens. Based on what I could source, what is vegan, and what has proven to work well with others I choose to mix the 7 ingredients for mineral based sunscreen as listed above. It turned out pretty good! What I’ve learned is important is to mix with an oil and a thicker butter (I choose cacao butter and shea butter). Often also beeswax is used for a thicker consistency is used but beeswax often comes with other ethical issues.

 

Step 2. Mix the sunscreen ingredients ‘Au Bain Marie’

Put in a glass or bowl:

  • 1 Spoon of Coconut Oil
  • 1 Spoon of Almond Oil
  • 1 Spoon of Jojoba Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Rose Hip Oil
  • 2 Spoons of Shea Butter
  • 1  3cm x 3cm block of Cacao Butter

At last: add 2 Spoons of Zinc Oxide Powder (or more if you’d like a higher protection ratio).

This recipe, I estimate to be +/- SPF 25. To increase SPF add an extra spoon of Zinc Oxide powder.

Put this glass or bowl in a pan with warm water so the cold oils will melt and you can mix the ingredients. I wouldn’t let it boil. It may damage the good properties and there is no need. I found a glass useful since it will stand on the bottom of the pan (and not float and risk water ingress).

You also have specialized au bain marie melting pots if you’re looking to go advanced.

Step 3. Put the mixture in a practical package

See if you have something that you can re-use. I used a little metal container originally used for loose tea. Works great!

Some suggestions for sunscreen packaging:

  • An old pill jar
  • An old sunscreen or shampoo bottle
  • An empty soap pump
  • A glass jar (if you’re not travelling)
  • A metal container

Step 4. Let your sunscreen cool down

This will make the sunscreen more solid.

Step 5. Try it out! And go play in the outdoors

I’m surprisingly pleased with the result. The sunscreen feels like a little spa on my face. It applies well and I have not got sunburned in the hot Spanish sun so far. You do need to spread it out well to not be as white as ghost. But this mixture makes me way less white than other mineral sunscreens I’m testing. The cacao butter smell is a bit dominating. I don’t mind this. To me, it tastes like the tropics. My skin feels soft and nurtured. If you’ll be surfing or sailing the full day I recommend to increase the % of Zinc Oxide powder to have a higher grade of protection and/or re-apply throughout the day.

Let me know how you like it! And how this works for you.

Recommended Mineral-Based sunscreen on the market

DIY mineral based sunscreen not for you? Here are some recommendations for mineral-based sunscreens out on the market. I’m putting them all to the test. Soon I’ll have the results online!

Where to find the DIY Mineral based Sunscreen Ingredients?

Find the ingredients as local as you can. Here’s why. Check out the herbal shop, pharmacy or eco shop near you. Alternatively, we have: the internet ;).

Zinc Oxide Powder (Buy in: USAUKNetherlandsFranceSpainElsewhere in Europe)

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (Buy in: USAUKNetherlands – Spain)

Almond Oil (Buy in: USAUKNetherlandsSpain)

Jojoba Oil (Buy in: USAUKNetherlandsSpain)

Rose Hip Oil (Buy in: USAUKNetherlandsSpain)

Shea Butter (Buy in: USAUKNetherlands – Spain)

Cacao butter (Buy in: USAUKNetherlandsSpain)

Raspberry Seed Oil (Buy in: USAUKNetherlands )

Zero Waste Sunscreen Packaging

In the USA/ Canada

 

In Europe

 

FAQ

What is the shelve life of natural based sunscreen?

Individually the ingredients of this recipe all have a considerable shelf life. This recipe doesn’t have any conserving ingredients. As far as my research and testing has gone so far this mixture won’t go bad quickly.  Zinc Oxide does not deteriorate over time and has an indefinite shelf life, “which means that they are extremely stable and can tolerate high heat, UV light and moisture without disintegration (1)”

The sunscreen diminishes quicker when exposed to heat, which is likely because we take this stuff to the beach and sun. Try to store it in a dark and cool place. No need to have it in the fridge. When the sunscreen starts to look grainy or doesn’t apply well to the skin it may be time to shake things up to see if it returns to it’s creamy form. Un unpleasant sell could be another clue of expiration.

How to increase the SPF?

This recipe, I estimate to be +/- SPF 25. To increase SPF add an extra spoon of Zinc Oxide powder.

References

In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics

In-Depth Blog on DIY Sunscreen from Wellnessmama

What happens when sunscreen expires?

How long does sunscreen last before it expires?

Learn more about sunscreen and the ocean

Biodegradable sunscreen for a healthy ocean and healthy you. What to know? What to choose?

The 7 dangerous ingredients of Sunscreen

Why oxybenzone and octinoxate are bad for reefs

A Single Drop of Sunscreen Can Kill Coral

 

As always, opinions are my own. No organisation or brand is paying me to write this or mention them. Sometimes links to ocean-friendly items contain affiliate links. If you’re looking to purchase something, huge thanks if you purchase it via this website (but try to find it locally first). At no extra cost to you, orders and bookings through this website give me a tiny piece of the pie that help me keep investigating, exploring and creating content about ocean action and solutions! Here are more ways to support ocean awareness and action. Splashthanks!


 

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Biodegradable sunscreen for a healthy ocean and healthy you. What to know? What to choose?

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Crew Opportunities: Simplicity & Sustainability Adventure Sailing in the Balearics | Summer 2019

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What is Posidonia Oceanica? And what can you do to protect it? | Ocean Nomad TV eps. 3

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The Holiday Sailing Packing List – Practical and Ocean Conscious Tips

The Sailing Packing List

Summer sailing season is on and you’re going on a sailing trip!

Good for you! Your life will never be the same ;). Especially if you have never been on a sailing trip before it can be difficult to figure out what to pack for a sailing trip. Preparation is key to make sure you, as well as the ocean, will have a good experience!

Here is a practical and ocean conscious sailing packing list to have you well prepared for your first sailing trip!

A few general sailing packing tips and considerations

  • Pack for the destination you’re going to and the adventures you’re planning to have. The sailing packing list presented here focuses on the warm charter island hopping / coastal kind of sailing trip.
  • Bring little. Chances are you’ll end up wearing the same things anyway. Storage space is worth gold on board. You won’t have much. If you can live without it, leave it at home. Especially on a summer sailing holiday, you need very little. Most days are spent in bikini and boardshorts.
  • Check what sailing gear is provided on board so you don’t have to bring it: towels, sheets, 12-volt USB charger, dishing washing sponge etc. If it’s a rental boat there will be very few things on board.

First, I will present the sailing packing list for easy reference which you can use as a checklist. After the list, I provide some commentary on different items to help you figure out whether they may be necessary for you or not to pack for sailing, plus some more happy ocean sailing packing tips to be a real ocean, conscious warrior.

The Sailing Packing Check List

Luggage

Clothes

  • 1 wind jacket
  • 1 sweater
  • 2 tee shirts
  • 1 long-sleeved shirt (against the sun)
  • 2 tank tops
  • 2 fast drying shorts/board short
  • 7 underwear
  • 1 long pants
  • Clothes to sleep in
  • Some decent clothes for on shore
  • Swimwear! x3
  • A lycra for sun protection
  • For girls: a sports bra/top for the adventure activities
  • A sarong and/or coverup

Shoes

Sun protection

Entertainment

Toiletries and sleeping

Health kit

  • Seasickness pills/wristband
  • Personal medicine/glasses/contact lenses

Paperwork & money

Food, Drinks, Cleaning

Can be handy & cool

  • A Headlamp
  • Your country flag
  • Hammock
  • A notebook and pen
  • A sewing kit
  • A pocket knife
  • A little music speaker

Notes on the Sailing Packing List

The considerations on a few of the items listed above.

Luggage

Duffel bag Unless it’s a huge catamaran, a boat does not have storage room for a hard suitcase. A waterproof duffel bag is ideal; you can fold it into a small size. A 50- to 70-liter duffel bag is a good size. The smaller, the smarter you will pack. For years I have been travelling with this 70L AquaPac Duffel bag. Simple, light, and strong.

sailing-packing-list-summer

Day pack A 20- to 25-liter waterproof day backpack is nice for day hikes and shopping. It’s also helpful in dinghy rides from the boat to shore to keep things dry, or for swimming to the boat if there’s no dinghy around;). I use the 20l Aquapac backpack.

Storage bags/ Shopping Bags Chances are you will only have one small cupboard or drawer to store your stuff. It’s helpful to have different coloured (non-crispy/noisy) bags to be able to easily find what you need. There are also easy to DIY from an old t-shirt. You can also use these bags for shopping.

Clothes

Summer sailing holidays are predominantly spent in bikinis and board shorts. Bring a few of those. Stretchy, fast drying and breathable fabrics are comfortable. We can look like hippies on board but bring something presentable to wear for on shore out of respect to the local communities. A long sleeve shirt is nice as protection from the sun. Usually, it’s hot in the sleeping cabins. Bring boxer shorts and a shirt or top for sleeping. Don’t forget a cap (to protect your face from the sun).

A sarong and/or coverup easy to pop on when coming out of the water and protect from the sun.

Shoes

Shoes don’t have to be sailing-specific shoes. On every island you touch shore, you will find places to explore and hills to climb on all sorts of soils. Good multi-purpose trail/running shoes allow for island exploration. I use my multi-purpose trail running shoes for sailing, walking, running, dancing, and everything. They do the job just fine. Just keep in mind that your shoes are very likely to get wet and salty. On deck, you have to be careful with black soles. They can leave marks on the deck.

Some captains have a barefoot policy. Nice for leisure sailing, it keeps the boat clean, and if you’re a passenger you’ll be fine. I prefer wearing shoes because I go around boats like a monkey and have stupidly sprained my ankles a few times too often.

Flip the flop with your Flip Flops

Sun protection

Cap A cap is a must. A hat leash is Neptune’s greatest invention. This is a clipper between your cap and t-shirt, which, in my case, has prevented my cap from going into the sea for about 283 times.

Sunglasses Polarised sunglasses are favourable at sea to view deeper, sharper and clearer. You can better see the dolphins swimming underwater at the bow. A neck cord prevents your sunglasses from going overboard.

Bandana A multi-purpose headband/scarf/bandana thingy to protect your head to keep the hair out of your face in the wind.

Sunscreen Bring a good ocean friendly sunscreen. Here are some suggestions. Or make your own.

Entertainment

SUPS, Hammocks, snorkeling gear, floating devices can all greatly add to the experience! Bring it if you have it or check the second-hand marketplace. Locally this stuff is expensive and/or imported low ocean-friendly shipped from China. Lots of this toys are out there already and often only used for one summer sailing holiday. See what you can re-use. If you want to bring surf or kite gear, check if there is space for that on board.

Film & photography – Memories are certainly best captured with your mind, at the moment—but capturing the adventure with a camera can also create nice memories to look back on later and to excite others about the ocean! Smartphones do the job these days. Protect the gear well. Electronics are not made for life on the sea. You only need one wave and hatch not properly closed to have your phone or camera ruined. Also, on boats it easily becomes humid and salty, so you better protect it. Buying a new phone takes as much energy as recharging and operating a smartphone for an entire decade. The second-hand marketplace has affordable water-proof cases.

Music brings happiness. Bring your Phone with some sweet playlists downloaded,  cable to connect the music machine to the speakers. Also, bring earphones or headphones, so you don’t disturb the other crew if there are in chill or siesta modus.

Charging Usually charging phones and tablets is not a problem. You need a 12V USB charger for that. These are popular on board so it can be helpful to bring your own. Don’t forget the charging cable. Label them so it doesn’t get mixed up with other cables. Charter boats usually only have 12Volt charging possibilities.

Universal adapter Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas have different power outlets. Bring a universal adapter if you change continents so you can plug in everywhere on land. It’s not easy to find these things in harbour towns.

Toiletries

Towels and bed linen are usually present. Not always, check this or bring a towel and pillow cover/sheet and/or sleeping bag. I use my sarong for drying and sleeping situations.

Earplugs Good earplugs can help to dampen the noises on the boat. Be sure to only wear them when appropriate.

Soap and shampoo Whatever shampoo, soap or shampoo product you bring on board, remember that it all drains straight out to the sea. Choose biodegradable. A simple soap/shampoo bar or multifunctional soap is a responsible solution. You can also wash your clothes with that. Learn about the shampoo challenges and plastic free soap & shampoo solutions.

environmental friendly plastic free shampoo

Washing unit A sponge or washing glove is handy to give yourself a quick wash. Baby wipes are often recommended and can surely be useful for you, but not for the environment. Opt for biodegradable ones.

Tooth care Bring a (bamboo) toothbrush, paste or powder, and toothpicks (in many places in the Mediterranean and Caribbean they are individually wrapped in plastic). Btw, Rinsing with seawater is a really good mouthwash.

Hair ties and clips Bring something to tie up your hair. Otherwise, your hair will be all over the place and it can be dangerous with making sailing maneuvers.

Health Kit

For casual coastal sailing holidays, you do not need to worry about seasickness. If crew or passengers feel bad, the next port or anchorage is close. If the plan is to make larger distances then you may want to bring something for seasickness. Seasickness remedies are available in pill, plaster, and wristband form. Scopolamine is the ingredient that many find to work best, but comes with some side effects so be aware of the dosage. You can read and learn more about preparing and dealing with seasickness in book Ocean Nomad.

Food / Drinks / Cleaning

If you rent a boat as a group, it comes with the very basics. Together you’d have to source things like dishwashing liquid, a sponge, toilet paper (never to be thrown in a toilet on board), shampoo. Coordinate with fellow holidaymakers who brings what. A huge difference can be made by arriving prepared for a minimal waste shopping experience. In the Mediterranean and Caribbean, popular sailing holiday places, the corner shops in most cases do not have plastic-free regulations in place (yet). Instead of taking things as they come, help to shape as they go, and show up with some reusables. Think about a bag, water filtration solutions, food produce bags, a reusable straw, a reusable cup (especially if you like a Greek frappé on the go).

By taking some (ocean-friendly) dishwashing liquid, a sponge and/or cleaning cloth from home, this will prevent you for having one to buy new locally which generally comes with lots of plastic wrapping and non-ocean-friendly ingredients. Most dish washing liquid brand contain harmful ingredients for the ocean (phosphate, Chlorine, Artificial fragrance). Bring ocean-friendly dishwashing liquid.

On the average summer sailing trip, food and the food costs are shared as a group. Everyone can have a say in what’s being provisioned. Try not to be too complicated for your fellow crew, so if you have particular tastes you really can’t do without for a week, bring some goods of your own / buy it yourself.

If you’re obsessed with tea or herbs/spices (like me), consider bringing some of that. This way you don’t have to buy the triple plastic wrapped tea bags or herb pots. Also, if you are gluten intolerant, vegetarian or vegan, prepare or bring something from the food department if you think this might be an issue. I personally travel with a mix of seeds. It gives me superpowers. For short-term holidays I wouldn’t bother.

For all the rest, shop local! Part of the fun and you can make a big difference by shopping local. Here you can read more about ocean conscious food provisioning.

Paperwork & money

Passport Obvious but easy to forget. Some countries require 90 to 180 days’ validity on arrival. Check if your passport is still valid long enough. I’ve met numerous people who had to fly home to renew and could cancel their adventure!

Money Bring cash in the local currency and an extra credit card. ATMs could be far, often don’t work, are empty, or swallow your card. It’s good to have a back-up.

Insurance Be personally insured. Check if your insurance has sailing coverage. I recommend TopSail insurance for sailing crew as travel insurance. Safety wing is an affordable medical coverage insurance for nomads. They also cover sailing travels, including long distances.

Can be handy & cool

Head torch A head torch is handy for reading, coming back from the shore at night,  getting up in the night without waking anyone up. It’s great to have a head torch with a red ‘night watch’ option—bright white lights affect your sleep rhythm, and blinds you and fellow crew.

Your country flag (small–max 30cm x 20cm). Bear in mind official flag regulations.

What NOT to bring

  • Too much!
  • A hard suitcase. There is no storage space for that.
  • Too many (warm) clothes. You’ll end up wearing the same things anyway. No winter clothes needed for Mediterranean summer sailing and  Caribbean sailing.
  • Too many shoes. You’ll be mostly barefoot on the boat (some captains demand wearing shoes).
  • Too many creams and oily cosmetic products.
  • Expensive jewelry with emotional attachment. Very easy to lose!
  • Hairdryers and electric razors (most boats only have 12-volt charging possibilities)
  • Your surfboard, mountain bike and sea scooter (without asking captain in advance).
  • A return ticket ;-). Make sailing a lifestyle.

HOW to pack Budget & ocean-friendly?

Being well-equipped and prepared allows you to create positive change in many ways. We can do more than simply packing light, compactly and purposefully for our own sake. Our greatest and most exciting individual power: the power of choice! To a large degree, we can choose what to eat, drink, wear, believe, say, do, create, and buy. Each choice comes with its consequences, good or bad. Do your best to make whatever choice you make a good one for you and the ocean! Not sure what the best choice is? Ask questions, research, explore, and find out! How can you pack smart, on a budget while minimising your carbon footprint, your trash trail, and the number of chemicals polluting the environment and your body? What can you choose to be the best for your health, your wallet, and for the world that you call your playground? Here is some food for thought on actions you can take to make the packing challenge more affordable and better for the environment

Offshore sailing packing list

Packing for a long-term Ocean Nomads sailing adventure? Then check out the offshore sailing packing list I created for crossing oceans and longer journeys. You can find the extensive sailing packing list and considerations in book Ocean Nomad. This offshore sailing packing list includes information about lifejackets, personal safety and sailing gear, gloves, pocket knives, visas, vaccinations, onward travel proof, and more tips on how to make a difference for a healthier ocean. Or download the simple and quick offshore sailing packing list checklist (free).

Wish you a splashtastic sailing experience! Let me know in the comments what you have found to be super useful on your trip and what you wish you had taken.
Ahoy!
Xx Suzanne

As always, opinions are my own. No organisation or brand is paying me to write this or mention them in this sailing packing list. What drives me is saving the ocean. Sometimes links contain affiliate links. If you’re looking to purchase something, huge thanks if you purchase it via this website (but try to find it locally first! ). At no extra cost to you, orders and bookings through this website give me a tiny piece of the pie that help me keep investigating, exploring and creating content about on ocean action and solutions! The information presented here is not a substitute for specific training or experience. When going into the outdoors it is your responsibility to have the proper knowledge, experience, and equipment to travel safely. Here are more ways to support ocean awareness and action. Splashthanks!

Waterproof Cases & Bags by Aquapac

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