When I was 23 I moved back to Airlie Beach after finishing University and got a job on a sailing catamaran as a host/deckhand. While I had spent many years galavanting around the islands on power boats I had never before sailed (except for the few times i’d jumped on a Hobie Cat as a kid). No one ‘taught’ me how to sail. I always joke that I learnt through osmosis, by watching the skippers, asking them questions and on the rare occasion I would get to try it for myself.
When the opportunity came to take a boat out with Charter Yachts Australia I jumped at it. Having never really sailed a monohull (or even done much sailing in the last 2 years) to say I was nervous is an understatement! I had never sailed a boat by myself before, nor had I ever even taken a boat out by myself! To make matters even more nerve-racking I invited two friends who both had no sailing experience and very little knowledge of boats – why I thought this was a good idea I’ll never know. While I am pretty handy as a crew member I’ve never had to take responsibility or call any shots so this was a huge first for me.
Anyway, my sense of adventure and stubbornness was to override any anxiety I had and the day came for us to set off on a two night adventure onboard the beautiful 39ft Jeanneau Sun Odyssey ‘Dream On’ – a fitting name for an all girls trip around the Whitsunday Islands.
I had some reservations about the crew. Cassie I know extremely well; she is one of the most emotionally intelligent, interesting and self deprecatingly HILARIOUS humans I know and she also wins the award for the least practical person I have ever met in my life… she was to be crowned my first mate. Tahlia, I had met a few weeks earlier, a talented local musician I didn’t actually know her very well and had no idea what would be like so I put her in charge of morale and what ever she was lacking in boat skills she could make up for it in lullabys. I was the person in charge of the boat and also the one whom if asked if she could sail would reply, “I know enough to get by.” Together we’re the dream team right?
This is the video from our trip around the islands. The girls were amazing, not only at encouraging me to back myself and my ability but also at following instructions, listening carefully and providing lots of laughs at their multiple fails but heartfelt and eager attempts. I would also like to say that this experience sits up in my top 10 favourite adventures. I am a huge advocate for putting yourself outside your comfort zone and I loved having the independence to explore the islands at our own pace. I highly recommend chartering a bareboat and I can’t wait to do it again.
Stay tuned for the next video of as we play on a sand bar, catch a lovely sunset and have a fun little sail home. You can follow the adventures on social media via @thesailingyogi Instagram and Facebook.
PS If you really have no sailing or boating skills then don’t worry! The company can organise for a skipper to go out with you. Meaning you’ll learn on the go and still have the independence and time to create your own schedule and take your holiday at your own pace. Find out more from Charter Yachts Australia.