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Tips on what to bring - and not
Here is my new revised and updated 2016 "What To Bring List".
PLEASE, read through this list thoroughly and I hope that you will follow my advice!
What do you bring on a sailing trip?
ANSWER very little!
A few pieces of comfortable clothing, walking shoes, a couple of swimsuits, a light jacket, small quantities of appropriate cosmetics and sunblock; dark glasses with a string and a hat with a string, that is about it!
Here is a tried and true list of what will get you through the trip more than comfortably - speaking of which, comfort is the theme here...nothing fancy, no high heels, no suit and tie.
The islands are extremely informal, and you could actually get by on less, as most people have told me.
PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY, THINK IT OVER AND MOST OF ALL, BRING LITTLE!
I RECOMMEND THAT YOU PRINT THIS OUT AND KEEP IT FOR REFERENCE WHILE PACKING.
WHAT TO BRING:
(anything that you bring outside of this recommended list is wasted weight and space, it will fill up your cabin... and you will have to sleep with it!.)
You have heard it before, I am sure, that on a sail boat there is little space for storage...so....please do not bring more than one large or two small soft sided cases, duffle bags or backpacks. Everything you have must fit in your cabin,and storage is very limited. Try packing a couple of weeks before you leave to have a good look at what is and is not really necessary. Take a look at it, and try and eliminate everything that you really don t need! Backpackers say, pack, then eliminate half of what you have packed.
IF YOUR TRIP IS STARTING AND FINISHING IN LEROS YOU MAY LEAVE ANY UN NECESSARY ITEMS/LUGGAGE AT THE HOME PORT FOR PICK UP WHEN YOU RETURN
YOUR TRIP IS NOT A FASHION SHOW (and 99% of all humans do not have a Barbie & Ken body.....)
What you want to bring are loose fitting COMFORTABLE breathable fabric or cotton clothing, light to medium weight. Baggy shorts and shirts, comfortable swim suits and nothing that has to stay PERFECT! No ironing boards here. . .
Seriously, in this list is -
CLOTHING: ALL THAT YOU WILL NEED TO BE COMFORTABLE AND STYLISH ON YOUR SAILING TRIP:-
1 or two pairs of shorts or boxers for A)sailing B)sleeping C)swimming D) hiking
-2 tee shirts to use with the above, or bring one, buy one souvenir T when you arrive.
2 of something that resembles a swimsuit ( I wear most anything, including what I have been wearing that day) Skinny dipping is possible in many of our anchorages if you want to be clothing- free.
-1 pair of long comfortable cotton pants, 1 long sleeve shirt for evening
-1 lightweight long sleeve shirt if you are sun shy
-1 sailing hat that stays on and has a chin string
-1 pair of sunglasses with neck cord
-1 SPARE pair of sunglasses. You cannot be without sunglasses on the water and we will not be where you can get a pair (and they are expensive here) that often. I will not be able to loan you any, so please make sure that you have an extra pair, even a cheap pair, just so that you have them.
-(YOU MUST HAVE a cord on all glasses you will use on board or Neptune will claim them)
-1 sarong for the women comes in handy- boxers or loose lightweight short pants for the men - a few pairs of underwear (you can wash them out along the way, don't bring too many unless of course they look good drying on the rails (I prefer bright colors for this purpose)
-1 very light spray/wind jacket, (water resistant rain type jacket) find a bargain online.
-1 sweatshirt or similar weight and style piece of clothing for cool evenings and cooler sailing days
- Something just a tad more respectable for land use when eating out at night (absolutely informal and not absolutely necessary) IE: cotton trousers, cotton sweater/jumper, or long sleeve shirt, clean T Shirt - what will be comfortable depends on the time of the season you are coming. Where ever we go, the attire is informal.
The women may want to bring a skirt or sun dress type of garment (I have one in case the rare urge strikes me to "dress up").
- shoes or all-terrain open type footwear for walking on land. None of the walks that we do require anything more than an open all terrain type sandal. Shoes are not required and discouraged on board, but if you feel that you will need shoes on board, please bring a designated pair for boat use only - white or light colored soles, please. No street shoes are allowed on board, you may not use the same pair of shoes for shore use that you use on board. Using the same pair of shoes for both land and boat is not allowed because pebbles get lodged in the tread and scratch the boat, plus they track on sand and dirt.
I prefer to go barefoot on board, I grip with my toes. Reef shoes, those enclosed rubber and net type, are good for walking around on the boat and not costly.
White bottomed reef or rock shoes are better if you will be using these as boat shoes. Don't go to great expense, look on Ebay or Amazon. Reef/rock or "bouldering" shoes come in handy if you swim ashore and then want to walk along the shore.
I have one pair of sandals which I use for everything from walking in town to hiking, something "slip-on" is best for general use as you must take your shoes off before getting on board.
TOILETRIES FOR SAILING TRIPS:
- good waterproof sunscreen, #30 to #50, I recommend gel type like Bullfrog, Shade, the new Coppertone products or "Sports" sunscreen, gels are better, or "dry oil" sprays. There is much less choice in Greece, they are expensive and have too strong of a scent added, so please bring your sunscreen with you. NO GREASY ZINC ALLOWED, what you bring must SOAK IN to your skin.
Especially good for the face are Neutrogena, Oil of Olay Dove, #50 is plenty. The stick types are good to bring as well for noses, shoulders, ears and the tops of your feet. ORIGINS now has an all natural, non chemical sunscreen.
-A good moisturizing cream for your face, face oil (plain grape seed or almond oil is great) or a hydrating face cream (men too) -your skin drys to an uncomfortable state without it. A very small bottle about 100 cc (travel sample size) will be plenty. Look for non petroleum Shea butter base creams with cocoa butter and olive oil.. Wholefoods has good natural moisturizers.
- good lip balm or Chapstick with 15 or better sfp. Body Shop or Burt's Bee's has some excellent lip protection sticks" with SFP. Chapstick with sfp stays on well. I also like Carmex because it "tastes" better than the others.
The "Palmers" Cocoa Butter Formula swivel stick is great for soothing dry lips after your day of sailing. (available at Longs or CVS in the USA.
Skin-So-Soft by Avon is also a good all around body oil, light and also bug repellent! (occasionally we have mosquitoes.)
CUT DOWN ON TOILETRY WEIGHT: bring only what you need of your toiletries, shampoo and rinse in small plastic travel bottles, usually the ones that are allowed as carry on are enough for at least a week, just to give you an idea. (those are 100 cc/3.3 oz)
I keep nice liquid bathing soap and a mild shampoo/rinse combo on board for general use. A couple of travel size bottles will get you through your travels if you choose to bring your own, most pharmacies carry the slightly larger sample sizes which are great for two week trips ( I buy whatever they have and refill with my favorites)
- good waterproof Bandaids (plasters) or surgical tape (surgical tape helps keep the Bandaids on in water)
-Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment (over the counter type antibiotic salve/cream) for general cuts and scrapes.
- aspirin,paracetamol, and or ibuprofen, for sore muscles and sun/wind head aches
- humidifying eye drops
-Vitamin C and Echinacea (take before you get on the plane and during the flight and drink lots of water to avoid catching bugs on the plane), "AirBourne" is good.
-a saline solution nose spray for the flight over. Keep those sinus' moist to protect from airborne infections so common on flights. This is also a good remedy for snoring! So many end up, on board, with a cold they contracted flying....using a nose humidifier helps your defense system. I also use Tea Tree oil while flying.a
- Do you suffer from irregularity while traveling??? OK, so everybody does, just make provisions for it and bring something to remedy it. I carry herb teas to get you going again, and I find that Metamucil is mild and effective also, for both bothersome bodily conditions. DON'T STAY UNCOMFORTABLE WHILE SAILING! Bring a remedy! I provide bran cereal as well. Dieter's Tea is also good for constipation.
WATER/DRINK CONTAINER -A closed insulated easy-to-drink-out-of sports type water bottle - the kind with a straw out of the top, or drink top, for your water, you MUST drink water ALL the time to keep from becoming dehydrated IN OUR CLIMATE, remember this! This is the Med! Being in the sun and wind all day is not something that you are accustomed to, you will require much more water than you are used to drinking.
LINEN & TOWELS I have bath towels and beach towels on board for everyone. (as well as your bed linen).
ELECTRONIC GADGETS PHONES AND CAMERAS
With everyone bringing multiple devices these days that need charging, I cannot charge on board with the "house batteries", so please bring spare batteries for cameras, phones and any other electronic device,and purchase a small solar charger (I can advise) . You can charge when we go ashore, be sure you have an adapter for the European plugs. Our house batteries must be monitored constantly and are there for the fridge, lights and pumps. It is one of our major headaches, keeping batteries charged. I can charge a phone - in an emergency, but please do not count on charging on board . Bring a solar charger, we have plenty of sun, I have a separate one that you can try.
We have tried to charge lithium battery (normal for Ipods and Iphones) devices and found that it is impossible on our on board 12 volt system.
Ginger tablets, candied ginger, (which I love and welcome aboard) or ginger in any form is good for anyone who thinks they might suffer seasickness. Also, many people find the wrist seabands effective. For more serious treatment, seasickness pills, such as Bonine. I do not recommend the patches, they are too strong and you may suffer more from the treatment than the ailment. There is also a new magnetic type band that you can regulate for your needs, available for about 70, online, I have seen it work well on one woman who swore she would get sick, and with this and half doses of Bonine, she did not.
Malox or Tums, and candied ginger also work well to quell the onset of seasickness. Most sailors, even first time sailors, manage to overcome the problem of seasickness within the first day or so - your body will adjust in most cases, most people get over the problems quickly. You may not be able to read or go down below the first couple of days while we are underway, but gradually you will become accustomed.
Bruises and strained muscles:
I always carry a homeopathic remedy for bruising which works wonders! It is called ARNICA and comes in a cream and a gel for external use, and in sub lingual tablets for taking internally. Ladies, this will keep you from displaying multicolor bruise spots on your soft areas if you take it while on board! Start taking it a week before you come in the minimum dosage. Somehow we always get them! Arnica also takes the swelling and pain away quickly, even with serious injuries. I have put it to the test MANY times. You can get Arnica in Wholefoods in the USA, or any natural foods/products store in Europe.
PASSPORTS: please bring four copies of the main page and I will ask you to leave one with me. The others should be spread around in what you bring. Never travel without copies.
CREDIT CARDS AND MONEY I recommend bringing two or three cards and pack them in different places in case one is lost, damaged, or stolen. Check to see if your card charges a foreign fee. Make sure that you call your credit card company before you leave to inform them that you are going abroad, AND find out how you use your card abroad (make sure you have your PIN number) and to check to see the TOTAL cost of using an ATM abroad, and what your daily limit is. Capital One and United Mileage Cards are the only cards that I know of that do not have a foreign transaction fee. The percentage for ATM withdrawals varies greatly, generally from 3% to 5% often, higher. Check the minimum charge which, again may vary from 3 - 10, often it is 10 (dollars or euro)
You can bring some travelers checks, but don't plan to use these exclusively, they are only accepted in banks, not all islands have banks. I always carry some cash, some 1's, 5's, 10's, and 20's are convenient to have along, and a couple 50's or 100's. For a 10 day trip, Budget a minimum of 300 euro/pp for extras, including dining out, during a week long trip. (I don't advise buying Euros in Heathrow if you are traveling through England. Wait to pick up Euros in Athens. It is cheaper once you are in Euro-land) Always look for exchange booths with ZERO charges.
NOTE: Occasionally I can change some US $$ or GBP or Auzzie $$ to Euro for you before you arrive, the charge is E.10. You can transfer the money to my account and I will have it for you when you arrive. No more the 300 euro. Must be in my account 6 weeks before sailing.
Don't bring it. It is not a good idea to wear expensive jewelry on a boat, it gets broken - or worse, lost overboard. It is actually best to keep all adornments to a minimum while sailing, and please, no toe rings, (or any other body piercing jewelry) these are bad news on a boat, you can get "hung up" by this type of jewelry.
SNORKELING I have a variety of medium snorkeling sets with fins, and 2 larger men's sizes. Bring a mask and snorkel if you have a good one that you are used to.
SWIMMING These waters are great for swimming and you will feel VERY buoyant! I often use a long sleeve swim top as I am in the water a lot and I don't want to burn my back, nor use a ton of sunscreen. If you don't want to spend a lot on UV tops, look at Aerobic workout tops (I found one at Walmart) to swim in, as long as it is lightweight, it will protect you and dry quickly.
I don't use a wet suit, but sometimes I do swim in a tight fitting T for extra warmth if the water is chilly. At most you might like to have a shortie very light "second skin" early in the season. Generally from June through September the water is an agreeable temperature.
MUSIC: I have about 1000 CD's to choose from for most tastes for your music enjoyment.
- a few good CD's (please put your name on them!!!) Please, I cannot bear Rap music, most everything else will be welcome. You can plug in your Ipod or MP3, but please, I have the power of veto as well as the other passengers. Not all music is adaptable for sailing.Connect your Ipod/mp3, however, not for more than a few songs unless everyone (including the captain) is in agreement with the music selections. Music can be irritating and even provoke seasickness, please keep this in mind when you are choosing your music to bring. I like to have happy sailors. I find that friends have a hard time saying no to other friends music...I will ask for a change if I find that it is distracting music, or if I see that anyone prefers silence or a change in music.
PACK LIGHT! PACK LIGHT! PACK LIGHT! PACK LIGHT! PACK LIGHT! PACK LIGHT!
You will be able to wash lighter clothing out along the way (even though we must conserve wa
ter so we do use seawater in part) pack to be comfortable-comfortable is much more important than stylish. i am sure that you will want to go home with at least one souvenir T-shirt, so bring at least one LESS.
You don't get "sweaty dirty" on a boat, so clothing is "acceptable" longer! Please do not plan to wash things daily unless you are fine with adapting to washing like we do - using mostly sea water; yes, it works!
Storage is limited in your cabins, if you have too much stuff, you will never find what you brought anyway.
Bring one of your old used local (used) funky T (don't go out and buy one, something you are no longer using is fine!) to wear on board and leave behind, you can then take back more souvenirs! We like "souvenir T's from your neck of the woods!
Any questions?? Please do contact me with any questions that you may have.
ONE MORE TIME: bring less
Pack a few days (weeks!) or more ahead, and evaluate what you really do and don't need. It helps to see it all laying on your bed and realize you probably don't need half of what you thought. You could get by with ONE "T," shorts, one pair of pants, a swimsuit and one long sleeve top - really, and many bring just about that!
I look forward to having you on board!
~ Your Captain
UPDATED MARCH 2016