Many have compared The Yachtweek to a period of time that seemed to have felt as more of a dream state than reality. Another dimension of life’s unexplored possibilities. “Why can’t this be life always this blissful, beautiful, and seamless?” It’s the week of your lifetime as you learn to sail, party like the rich and famous, and live on a yacht with your closest friends and hundreds of other Yacht Weekers.
Hundreds of New Best Friends
While numbers may vary depending on what route you decide to sail (i.e. Croatia, British Virgin Islands, Italy, Macedonia, Thailand, Mallorca routes etc.), imagine meeting 200 strangers on the first day. The energy is apparent upon glancing around at each crew. Everyone is anticipating a lively and eventful week but I don’t think many had a true image of what was about to occur. By the end of The Yachtweek, you will have created 200 new best friendships from all corners of the world. You’ll share memories with these individuals for a lifetime. It truly is something to cherish and blissful beyond words.
Let go of your inhibitions and jump in
I joined the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Yachtweek route and have a very difficult time trying to remember many negatives aspects of this adventure (even almost getting lost at sea). One of my best friends, Lee, couldn’t join the trip and his crew from Texas needed a dependable replacement. That’s when Lee thought of me taking his spot, he picked up the phone and presented his idea to me. It took me about 3 seconds to make my mind up. It was a no-brainer.
Planning and Preparation
As the trip neared, we tied up loose ends from a planning perspective including confirming our skipper, locking down a 10-person, 48 foot catamaran equipped with plenty of comfortable space. Upfront, I’ll explain some key planning aspects to keep in mind for your voyage:
- Water: For ~10 people, plan to consume about 1/2 gallon of water per day per person. So if you’ll be on the boat for 6 days: 6 days x 1/2 gallon x 10 people = 30 gallons. Then, add 5 gallons to that to result in 35 gallons of water. Yes, you’ll need all of it.
- Food: We relied heavily on trail mix, lunch meat, pretzels, granola / cliff bars, and various other cheap dry goods. You’ll also be fed delicious dinners each evening while you dock for the island parties.
- Alcohol (varies per crew): Be conservative and overestimate as you don’t want to be stranded, begging other crews for handouts on the high seas.
- Mixers: Coconut water, seltzer, tonic water, Cola, Ginger Ale, and Sprite etc.
- Expect 3-4 island parties (on land) for the week.
- Roughly 3 day raft parties: A raft party is where all of the skippers tie the yachts together in specific shape (circle or bowling alley). Everyone mingles, hops from boat to boat, and enjoys each other’s stories and company. This is where a lot of bonding happens.
- The skippers are reliable on the sea but expect to party with them too. They have a lot of sailing and partying experience from their previous weeks. Therefore, plan them in your provisioning and tip them generously at the end. They will teach you to sail and you’ll be expected to provide hands on deck!
- I recommend bringing portable speakers. Waterproof speakers are a bonus.
- Many yachts have sound systems but you want to have a backup plan.
- Expect to bunk with a close friend or significant other. From my observations of other crews, your bunk mate may be different at the end from your first night.
- Male-to-Female Ratio:
- Expect to see a 50/50 men-to-women ratio as The Yachweek does a fair job at balancing the crowd. This should be considered during your crew planning.
With these planning considerations laid out above, I’d like to leave you with a few words of advice. Let go of your inhibitions and doubts, get off social media, this is one of those paramount trips you must do before you get too old. Before the mortgage, kids, and bills that come as part of your older adult years, make this trip a priority. They say, you’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Yes, that may be corny but in all honesty, this trip changed the way I view adventures and gave me perspective of how harmonious a group of people can quickly bond in a brief period of time given the right conditions.
This trip provided me an introspective view of how much one can truly enjoy an experience with an expiration date attached to it. It set the bar high for my future endeavors. Through high standards, one is enabled to constantly strive for more and while the grass may often be greener on the other side, it’s essential to maintain vigilance in your quest for happiness as it’s always a week-long adventure away!