Roaming the Seas

Vessel Name: Stella's
Recent Blog Posts
28 June 2019

Best Sailing Destinations Around the World

People who love to travel often find themselves reading about "the best" places in the world to visit. There are millions of lists of places you should visit, places where you should eat, places where you should go hiking, swimming, sailing, camping, and cycling, but in the end, it doesn't matter [...]

23 April 2019

My First Sailing Trip - What I Had to Consider

I always dreamed about sailing off into the wild blue yonder. The idea of navigating the high waters of turquoise shallows and breaking the massive waves of the Delft blue horizon has been so consistently enticing to me that I made a resolution to go on a sailing trip as soon as I had enough time [...]

14 March 2019 | New Zealand

New Zealand Sailing Experience

There are plenty of reasons why you should make New Zealand your next holiday destination. And, one of the biggest attractions when New Zealand is concerned is undoubtedly sailing. This rich and colorful country provides a great range of sailing options, for all kinds of budgets and adrenaline junkies. [...]

25 February 2019 | Queensland

Everything to Know About Sailing in Whitsundays Queensland, Australia

Whether you are an experienced sailor or a beginner, Whitsundays is the right place for you. Besides beautiful beaches and sailing, Whitsundays is known as a place for snorkelling, hiking and fishing. But for sailors, Whitsundays offers a one-of-a-kind experience due to its incredible compilation of [...]

Best Sailing Destinations Around the World

28 June 2019
Stella van Lane

People who love to travel often find themselves reading about "the best" places in the world to visit. There are millions of lists of places you should visit, places where you should eat, places where you should go hiking, swimming, sailing, camping, and cycling, but in the end, it doesn't matter what these lists say. People are different and don't always agree on what might be "the best" destination, but we've taken it upon ourselves to point out some of the best sailing destinations in the world for people who are looking for their next adventure. 



Zanzibar

Zanzibar Island in Tanzania has a lot to offer to anyone who decides to visit, and with a rich history and exotic culture, it's a true gem everyone should see with their own eyes. The Arab world has used Zanzibar as its trade center, and something of that history and heritage can still be seen today. The Indian Ocean is beautiful, and you can take the opportunity to go diving or snorkeling in the clear water, or simply go fishing and see what exotic fish you can catch. People often go on a Tanzanian safari and leave Zanzibar for the end, but you can always choose to explore the place on its own. With many beautiful beaches to wander about and old villages to explore, you will surely have a blast. 


The British Virgin Islands

Confident sailors who dream about navigating between numerous small and big islands have been flocking to the Caribbean for a very long time. Still, it seems as if the British Virgin Islands are the most popular sailing destination in the region, and for a good reason. You can easily enjoy opulence and luxury or adrenalin and adventure, or even combine all of these together in an epic excursion. The Islands are known for their beautiful beaches, and if you have a chance, you can visit different islands and try to discover which ones are the most beautiful. The beaches are often deserted and secluded, and you can you drop your anchor and use the opportunity to feel like the king of a small island. 



The Maldives

The Maldives is one of those places where you can't help but feel like you're in heaven. The warm and gentle climate, crystal-clear turquoise water that's brimming with fish, and white sandy beaches – you will feel like you've stepped into another dimension. You can spend your days swimming, diving, whale watching, and if you ever want to feel pampered and spoiled, you can always head over to one of the many luxury resorts Maldives offer. With 87 islands that have been turned into exclusive resorts, it doesn't come as a surprise that the Maldives are among the most popular sailing destinations in the world. Coral reefs are brimming with life, and they offer a truly wonderful diving experience. 


New Zealand

Another place with a long history and rich sailing culture is New Zealand. It doesn't come as a surprise once you see their lovely coastlines with beautiful scenery and a myriad of places to explore. Still, one place stands out among sailors, and that's the Bay of Islands. It's perfect for people who want to go fishing or try kayaking, but its wildlife is what makes it especially intriguing. At this place, you can spot whales and dolphins, but also penguins. There are more than 140 islands you can visit, and some of these are virtually untouched, so you can experience what it's like to hike around unexplored places.


Sailing is one of those activities that are quite challenging, but it also offers you a chance to see some of the most beautiful places in the world and feel connected to nature. If you have an adventurous spirit and would like to visit some of these sailing destinations we mentioned, start preparing and stay focused on your goal. Who knows, someday you might even be able to see them all and decide for yourself which one is the best for you. 


My First Sailing Trip - What I Had to Consider

23 April 2019
Stella van Lane

I always dreamed about sailing off into the wild blue yonder. The idea of navigating the high waters of turquoise shallows and breaking the massive waves of the Delft blue horizon has been so consistently enticing to me that I made a resolution to go on a sailing trip as soon as I had enough time on my hands to do it. As it appears, I had to wait for my retirement to finally embark on my aquatic journey, but better late than never as far as I'm concerned! This gave me a lot of time to ponder on the logistics of my adventure, and here's what I had to consider for my first sailing trip.


The first time will not be what you imagined

You might have built an ideal picture of setting off into the open water by yourself, with the sails lifted high and a confident glint in your eye as you ogle the horizon. Well, I think you see where I'm going with this. The first time will simply not be as you have imagined it: your wishful fantasies will be disappointed but some unexpected sensations will also probably surprise you. The scent of salt and the sheer force that pulled me sideways were a total surprise to me.


First of all, hang your captain's hat because you will have to charter a boat and choose a particular type out of a small selection. It is true that nothing trumps the experience, so forget all you've learned if you never manned a boat yourself and start off with a tour on a crewed charter where you can get the feel of the experience. A skippered charter is the next best thing, and it offers a genuine experience while the bareboat charter may be best left for last.


Prepare (and insure) yourself for a rocking deck

In addition, you'd be well advised to check out the best senior's travel insurance and see if you qualify since, and I will not mince words here, the weather can be fickle. What starts off as smooth-sailing may easily turn into a rocky ride on the coattails of a tempest. In the case of emergency, your lack of experience will not help so stay safe beneath the deck until the waters calm down.


Apart from that, you can practice with the instructive members of the crew in order to learn the ropes - both metaphorically and literally - and prepare for a more independent outing down the road. As it has been mentioned before and should be reiterated again and again, there are not tutorials detailed enough to make up for the lack of practical experience. If you find a function you are good at, stick to it in order to make the journey easier for everyone.


Pack a first aid kit

Do not even think about boarding the sailing ship without a well-stocked first aid kit under your arm. Since it would be impractical to drag a small pharmacy along with you, consider your choices hard. Motion sickness remedies are a must, alongside pain relievers, plentiful Band-Aids and an antibiotic and antiseptic in the spray form. The mistake I made was that I completely forgot the sun-protection cream, but one of the crew members was kind enough to share a bottle.


If your baggage weight is limited before you board your flight, and you simply cannot spare the extra space for a sizeable first aid kit, you should know that specialized stores in affluent ports usually have ready-made carry emergency kits for sailors on sale. It may even be more prudent to purchase these then assemble your own messy kit from scratch.


Footwear is a top priority

Do not underestimate the importance of comfortable footwear for wet surroundings. Your clothes may be a matter of choice (though light airy clothes are preferable, and don't forget the bathing suit), but solid shoes are absolutely golden. Thankfully, this is where the knowledge I accrued came useful to me, as I knew all too well to avoid black-soled shoes, slippers, and flip-flops. I purchased a flexible and light pair of shoes with rubber soles for slippery surfaces and I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone!



As an experienced individual, I can say that it is a fine line to walk between abandoning responsibilities and changing your life. Embarking on an escapade of epic proportions and getting out of your comfort zone are only some of the small matters that truly show you where the distinction lies. For me, this was the sailing trip I've always waited for - a reward for a lifetime of responsibilities. And as far as I am concerned, this is only the beginning.


New Zealand Sailing Experience

14 March 2019 | New Zealand
Stella van Lane
There are plenty of reasons why you should make New Zealand your next holiday destination. And, one of the biggest attractions when New Zealand is concerned is undoubtedly sailing. This rich and colorful country provides a great range of sailing options, for all kinds of budgets and adrenaline junkies. In that sense, it will definitely prove to be more than worth your while – not to mention the breathtaking scenery that almost seems otherworldly. Not sure where to start? Well, if you want the ultimate New Zealand sailing experience, make sure to check out the following sailing hot spots.



Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is the first spot that comes to mind when discussing sailing in New Zealand. After all, you have the freedom to explore 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula in Northland. Can you imagine that kind of freedom? Of course, in order to get there, and generally, in order to travel from one place to another and explore New Zealand properly, don’t hesitate to utilize the cheap car rental option as it will make your life and holiday easier and more enjoyable. Particularly when it comes to the Bay of Islands, you will want to discover as much of a marine life as possible, and simply take the nature and wild life in fully. The Bay is already accessible to interested tourists, so make sure that you can easily switch between different activities and sights.

Abel Tasman
The Bay of Islands may be spectacular, but nothing can prepare you for the paradise that is the Abel Tasman National Park, located at the very end of the South Island. Not only will the geography, wildlife and scenic beauty of the place leave you breathless, but the sailing possibilities are out of this world, too! The mix of forests, sandy beaches and pristine ocean is mesmerizing, while you’ll also get to experience Tonga Island Marine Reserve if you’re up for some snorkeling. This place will allow you to observe fur seals, enjoy the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand and even take up kayaking to explore the legendary Split Apple Rock and the similar. When it comes to Abel Tasman, there’s no shortage of either adventure or relaxation.



Auckland
There’s no way that you could miss out on the sailing fun in Auckland, known as the city of sails! Not only is this the largest city in New Zealand but it’s also the go-to hotspot for all the sailing enthusiasts. Hauraki Gulf in Auckland features 500+ island anchorages, with gorgeous beaches that are also perfect for fishing and hiking. Aside from this, you have all the freedom to explore the cafes and night life in general. The islands are very lively 24/7. Both the history and culture of New Zealand are mirrored in the rich setting and feel of Auckland city. From wine tasting to swimming, Auckland will provide you with numerous sailing activities, regardless of whether you travel solo or with friends/family.

Fiordland
Of course, a true sailor at heart in search of the ultimate sailing experience would never miss the opportunity to spread the sails in the amazing fiords of the New Zealand’s South Island’s West Coast. The deep blue waters are not the only magical element of the whole place. There’s great beauty under the water as well, together with the picturesque surroundings, filled with waterfalls and rainforests. Some corals and other generally deep-sea species can thrive in relatively shallow waters here, which makes for a truly unforgettable experience. Not to mention that you can easily expect seals and/or dolphins to join you on your sailing journey. Essentially, it’s difficult to say what makes Fiordland more spectacular – what’s above or what’s under the water. Either way, this is a perfect sailing destination without a doubt.

For seekers of ocean-faring adventure, New Zealand is 100% the place to visit. Aside from brimming with unique culture, history and tradition, the country is made of equally unique and almost incredible nature that won’t leave you indifferent. What’s more, the locals tend to be very friendly and helpful, so don’t hesitate to ask for advice when you need one. In the end, one thing’s for sure – a sailing holiday in New Zealand will be one of your most exciting and thrilling experiences ever.

Everything to Know About Sailing in Whitsundays Queensland, Australia

25 February 2019 | Queensland
Stella van Lane | Mostly Cloudy
Whether you are an experienced sailor or a beginner, Whitsundays is the right place for you. Besides beautiful beaches and sailing, Whitsundays is known as a place for snorkelling, hiking and fishing. But for sailors, Whitsundays offers a one-of-a-kind experience due to its incredible compilation of 74 islands, located right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. In order to be prepared for the best experience, you should first consider planning ahead and avoiding some of the most common mistake sailors make.

Where to hire a boat?

You can contact one of the six charter companies in Whitsundays for hiring regular sailboats or bearboats. Based on Hamilton Island, you can find Sunsail, while other charterers are on Airlie Beach. If you are looking for the right period to go sailing, we suggest August when the annual Airlie Beach Race Week and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week are held.

License and experience

For sailing in Whitsundays, you don't need to have a special license. Some sailing companies might ask for at least five-hour sailing experience, but others will let you try on your own even if you are a first-time sailor. You will be provided with a briefing upon your arrival, so you will know what you can do better next time. But, if sailing is your regular activity, you should have a license anyway. Also, if you are prone to overestimating yourself, try practising beforehand, and don't go on the water alone for the first couple of sails.

Expenses

The budget you need to carelessly enjoy your sailing visit to Whitsundays varies between companies, seasons and availability. The most commonly estimated price is around $120 daily, but the prices can vary between $3000 and $8000 for seven nights, depending mostly on the season. You will also need a $100 budget for marine fees, insurance and daily fuel.

Prepare the right equipment

Before you set off, it's important to have the right sailing equipment onboard. If the day is sunny, the winds are calm, and you are planning on a short ride, you will need no more than a regular T-shirt and shorts. In any other case, you're going to need more layers to keep you dry and warm. You can find all you need if you search for quality Sea to Summit sailing equipment. Among the essentials, look for wetsuits to keep you dry, a waterproof spray top for additional warmth, sailing boots to keep your feet dry, and a buoyancy aid if you are planning on sailing on your own.

Keep a safe distance

Once you're all ready to cruise away from the coast, there is a simple rule you should follow - always keep a safe distance from other boats. Everyone who has sailed at least once knows that stopping on water and stopping on solid ground is not in any ways the same. If you don't want to ruin your (or somebody else's) day by having a boat crash, then keep away from other boats and stay within the speed limit. The limit varies between different boating areas, and so does the recommended safe distance, but if you want to be really safe, don't raise your speed over 5 knots when you are close to shore or harbour.

Follow the lines

There is a reason some parts of the beach are separated with marked lines and buoys. If a beach seems empty, sometimes it's easier for sailors to just ignore them and park straight at the beach. However, you can never know whether there is someone diving or snorkelling underneath, so it's highly unsafe to ignore this possibility.
To conclude, if you simply follow the rules and stay concentrated, everything will be fine and you will have the most wonderful sailing experience in Whitsundays. Don't forget to take photos while you sail into the beautiful Australian sunset.


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