How to Start Sailing

How to Start Sailing

Sailing has always been thought of as a sport for the rich, and if you don’t have a brand new yacht or sailboat then it isn’t for you.  That really isn’t the case, it is just like any other sport or activity and all you really need is an interest in learning how to sail.  If you are wondering exactly how to start sailing, sailing lessons are the first thing you need to do.  Here are some of the things that you can expect during the first couple of lessons.

  1. The first thing you’re going to learn are the basic skills of sailing including basic safety, how to handle the boat along with what equipment you are going to need to have onboard before you head out.  Here is a look at some basics.
  2. You are going to learn some pretty extensive water safety training. This is more than what you would learn to go surfing, you need to learn what to do if the boat capsizes.  You will need to learn first aid along with how you survive falling into cold waters.  The instructor will include how to tread water, getting out from under a capsized boat and how to put on your life jacket while in the water.
  3. Don’t expect to learn on a yacht rather you will start out using a dinghy. A dinghy is a smaller and lighter boat that tips over easily but it’s a fairly simple process to drain the water and put them right in the water.  You can navigate a dinghy in a decent sized swimming pool and it is a great way to learn how to balance on a boat.
  4. Expect the weather to not cooperate with your plans. Sailing in open water is different than standing on shore, it is always at least a couple of degrees cooler so wear some layers even in the heat of summer.  You are also going to need the right shoes, ones that won’t slip or leave a mark on the deck.
  5. Sea sickness is a real thing and it can happen to you. If you are already prone to car sickness or if you have been on a boat before and gotten sea sick then expect it to happen again.  There are tons of medications available that can help ward of motion sickness and make sure you are well rested and have plenty of water.
  6. Sailing is really that difficult but it takes years of experience to become a master sailor. You can fully expect to be bad at it your first time out but don’t let that stop you from enjoying your time in the open water and catching some incredible scenery.

 

Looking After Your Snorkeling Gear

Looking After Your Snorkeling Gear

You take a couple of trips a year to somewhere warm and tropical to unwind and get some snorkeling in, in fact you finally broke down and got your own snorkeling gear to make sure you can head in the water whenever you like.  Now you need to keep your gear in good shape, so you can enjoy your next trip.  Don’t worry your gear only needs a little love and it isn’t that hard.  If you look after it your snorkeling gear can last for years, so let’s have a look at what it takes to keep your gear in perfect condition.

Basic Gear

If you have the basic snorkeling gear, mask, fins and breathing tube it super easy to maintain them.  It is pretty much maintenance free and you can do it on the beach in most cases.  If you have been snorkeling in salt water or the kids have been playing with it in a heavily chlorinated swimming pool then all you need to do is rinse it out with some fresh water.  You want to remove the salt or chlorine and dry it off.  When you get home store it in a cool and dry place away from the sun and it is good to go for the next trip.

More Sophisticated Gear

If you are really an avid snorkeler and have invested in some more sophisticated gear such as the semi-dry and dry snorkels with purge valves then you definitely want to make sure that you get rid of all the chlorine and salt from the valves.  After you have rinsed your gear then you want to take a closer look at the valves.  The valves have tiny membranes can develop holes or tears and that can make your snorkel leak.  Some models will sell replacement valves  but most do not, that is why you need to look after them.

The Mouthpiece

There are bite tabs in the mouthpiece that help you hold it in place while it is in your mouth.  These tabs can break off after some use, but they are also easily replaceable.  Most models of snorkels have replacement mouthpieces on the market and it is really easy to replace them once they have been worn down.  The snorkel keeper is another part that can wear out with use, it connects the snorkel to your mask.  Most often they just slide out and get lost in travels but they are fairly easy and inexpensive to replace.

This is pretty much all you need to do to keep your snorkel gear working in tip top shape, now go have some fun.

Best Worldwide Spots for Snorkeling

Best Worldwide Spots for Snorkeling

Snorkeling is one of the greatest ways to take some time off from the chaos of everyday life and just appreciate nature.  Almost 80% of all life on earth is located underwater so there is plenty to see while you explore.  Unlike scuba diving, snorkeling is done near the shore and you can try it no matter your level of experience.  You don’t have to be certified or take courses first.  Now, let’s get to the good stuff, here are the best worldwide spots for snorkeling that we have seen yet.

Koh Tao, Thailand

Thailand is actually filled with some incredible places to snorkel but Koh Tao is a favorite.  The tiny island is surrounded with sandy beaches and beautiful blue waters.  Check out the Japanese Gardens, you will find some rare granite boulders that are covered in coral.  Nearby you can find baby sharks, clown fish, blue spotted rays and trigger fish.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Ever dreamed of swimming with the sharks?  This is one of the best places in the world to do just that.  You can get up close and personal with lemon and blacktip reef sharks.  If you book yourself a beachfront resort you can go straight from your bungalow to the warm Polynesian waters whenever you want.  There are also guides here who can take you to some great snorkeling spots where you can swim with dolphins, turtles and check out the bright coral.  Here is what you can expect to see.

Punta Mita, Mexico

You don’t have to travel half way around the world for some great snorkeling you can head to Mexico and see some incredible underwater sites.  While you can find sandy beaches in Cancun, Punta Mita has something a bit different.  You will find clear blue water but the unique rock formations along the coast here make it so much more interesting.  You can explore underwater caves, hang out with dolphins and watch seahorses swim by.  It is a must see for the avid snorkeler.

Silfra Fissure, Iceland

This one probably comes as a surprise, most people associate snorkeling with warmer water, but if you can brave the cold you can experience something truly unique.  This is one of the only places in the world where you can see an underwater tectonic canyon and you have the chance to swim between continents.  How cool is that!  There is a natural filtration system here that gives you great visibility.  You are not going to see brightly colored schools of fish but billion year old geographical wonders instead.