If you have been on a long sailing trip you will know it’s either 100 miles an hour or sitting on your butt enjoying the view. You can go from a team of busy beavers fixing a problem in pouring rain on rough seas, to sitting on a beautifully calm ocean cruising towards the horizon for hour after hour.
Now those times of sitting around are one of the most enjoyable parts of boating. We all love that feeling of peering off into an endless ocean without land in site feeling like you are the only person in the world. It’s one of the main reasons some of us boat. But… we all need to be honest. It can get boring, particularly on the long voyages. I remember one of our longer trips we had 7 straight days of smooth sailing without any problems. Now that’s a long time. We didn’t have a course correction or anything.
As you can imagine we have had to have a lot of activities to keep us busy during those long voyages. Here’s a list of our favorite activities to keep you interested on those long sailing trips.
Books, books and more books
There is no better place to read than out on a boat. When on the open ocean we often read a book a day. Read two pages, look to the horizon to make sure everything is ok, read two more pages, check the horizon… well you get the process! You can get cheap books in second hand book stores and if you stay at a marina, trading books is a favorite activity.
Yes, 52 sheets of cardboard can keep you entertained (either by yourself or with others) for endless hours. There are literally thousands of different games you can play. Some of our favorites include 31, 9-hole golf and the ever popular rummy. Also we suggest taking 3 or 4 sets of cards (preferably same brand). You don’t want to lose all that fun because a card got blown away or got wet, and they take up basically no room.
Learn a Language
You have spare time, so why not use it to learn something useful? What better way to do it than out on a boat. You don’t speak a word of Spanish? In a few hours a day for 10-15 days you can learn a lot and be speaking to the locals when you dock in Mexico. How cool is that?? You can master one of the hardest languages in the world in no time. It also helps if there is another person on the boat willing to learn with you. You can speak to each other in Japanese and before you know it you will be speaking the language well.
Learning the Starry Sky
Well, as a sailor you should know a little about what happens in the night sky. You can’t always rely on the instruments. What if disaster hits and you lose navigation. Navigating by sky has been around for millennia, so you should know the basics.
On another note, you won’t get many better views of the milky way than out in the middle of the sea. Views are spectacular. You should know a little about what you are staring at. If you have an IPad or a tablet google maps offers an app called Google Sky Maps which is awesome.
Write a Journal
There is nothing like writing a journal of your experiences. Whether it is by hand or on your computer, it will give you lasting memories of one of the adventures of your life. Also if you are creative you can start writing some short fictional stories. Nothing gets the creative juices going like fresh air and freedom.
A New Hobby
Ok, this one is a bit vague. That’s on purpose. It really is going to depend on what you are interested in. Want to give knitting a go, well go for it! Want to keep the brain working, take a book of crosswords and Sudoku.
I hope these helped you with some ideas for what to do on those long Sailing Trips. There are obviously plenty more, but these should keep you interested!