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 the 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 may negatives aspects of this adventure (even almost personally getting lost at sea but I’ll explain later). 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, picked up the phone, and presented his idea to me. It took me about 3 seconds to make my mind up. He called the right person.
Planning and Preparation
As the trip neared, we tied the loose ends from a planning perspective including confirming our skipper, locking down our 10-person, 48 foot catamaran equipped with plenty of luxurious 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!): 1 bottle of liquor for 3 or 4 people per day = ~3 bottles per day x 6 days = ~15 – 20 bottles
- Mixers: Coconut water, seltzer, tonic water, Cola, Ginger Ale, and Sprite did the trick.
- Expect 3-4 island parties for the week.
- 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 truly enjoys each other’s stories and company. This is where a lot of bonding happens
- The skippers are reliable on the sea yet expect to party with them too. They have a lot of sailing and partying experience from their previous weeks. 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! From my observations of other crews, your bunk mate could be different on the last night from what it was on 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 become a real “adult”. Before the mortgage, kids, and true bills that come as part of your 30’s, make this trip or something similar to it 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 interact with people and gave me perspective of how harmonious a group of people can quickly become in a brief period of time given the right conditions.
High Standards and Vigilance
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!