Learning holidays are very fun
Original post: Another World Adventures
Learning holidays (we wish there was a better way of describing them) are awesome – in particular when they involve some ocean and a sail.
Sailing adventures are perfect for complete beginners if you’re of adventurous spirit and are enthusiastic about getting stuck in. A professional crew teach you everything you need to know to take part.
Many of the most extraordinary journeys on the Another World Adventures website are ocean crossings, island hoppings and coastal cruising in remote and wonderful places. In some cases a boat is the only way to get to a place to explore on land and in others it’s just a very different way to arrive.
In 2011 Larissa and Tori, founders of Another World Adventures met as (very) novice sailors on board a 100 year old tall ship for a crossing from Spain to Brazil. The 27 day voyage was the adventure of a lifetime and catalyst for our dream to help enrich lives through inspiring travel experiences – oh, and to push you all out of your comfort zones every now and again.
When it comes to trying something new or improving your skills through a learning holiday like a sailing adventure we think Mark Twain had the right advice: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Here’s an excerpt from Larissa’s journal as she tied to make sense of the surprising amount she was learning during their voyage and below are some sailing experiences that are perfect for all abilities.
2,438 nautical miles into the voyage
Do you know a ‘camel hitch’ from a ‘monkey fist’? Or that dolphins have belly buttons?
No, neither did I before I joined this voyage.
Apparently a group of jelly fish is called a smack, and down in the galley, where all the dinner time gastro-magic happens, the crew are the proud owners of 33 pairs of sun glasses.
As of last week, Red Watch was running an impressive bar tab of nearly 800 euros from Las Palmas and in a covert operation Tori and I counted 52 bruises between the knee and ankle across the whole crew.
These are arguably not the most useful snippets of information to recall from the hundreds that have been rammed into my brain in the past few weeks since we became immersed in the watery world of the Atlantic, but it’s the random ones that are quite fun.
The ‘Idiot’s Guide to Learning Portuguese’ is safely stashed in one of the draws under my bed / bunk / berth (delete as appropriate) having realized that being able to order a beer is not going to be useful if we don’t make it to Brazil, and it’s a group effort. It’s shoved in there with all the other un-used stuff I panic bought in Las Palmas in case staring wistfully at the horizon got “a bit boring after three weeks”* so I can get focused on the task at hand.
We’ve been busy (give or take the occasional power-tan sessions on sloopy deck) putting into action the newly learnt language needed to sail an ocean so we don’t strike / take away / get rid of (delete as appropriate) /the wrong sail while asking to borrow the ‘pokey stick thing’ to untie a knot**.
To my complete surprise I’m verging on being able to string together a complete sailing sentence without sounding like a total fraud. I now know that ‘baggy wrinkle’ is not the name of a class action suit against L’Oreal.
I’ve probably added hundreds of words to my nautical vocabulary, a small achievement considering some of my brilliant fellow training crew are learning everything in a second language, which is why it’s so frustrating to be struggling for words that can, with some eloquence, paint a picture of quite how incredible this journey has been so far.
Every day brings a new experience, a new bit of learning, a new star constellation, a new soup, a new rung on the ladder to the sky sail. It challenges and rewards us. It makes us laugh. A lot. Sometimes too much and we have to climb up to higher yards in breathless hysterics so people don’t think the inner-child that has come back to life inside us has been given a shot of corn-wyne.
The ocean gets more beautiful with each gust of wind and whenever I think it is not possible to feel any happier in life, something happens, and I do. And it is very special. If all goes to plan later today I will climb the main mast as high as I can and send a kiss to my darling dad on his anniversary who is watching us on our journey from higher clouds.
In the deck house window of our happy ship hangs a dream catcher.
* I should have known the horizon would never get boring but I quote the warning words of a friend in London who this morning is probably waiting in the rain at a bus stop en route to work while I type away in the warming rays of a spectacular sunrise after a 6am ‘Silent Disco’ on the fore deck (front of the boat / bit that’s not the helm / bow – /delete as appropriate). /Who’s the insane one now??
** I know, I know, it’s a marline spike