Stand Up Paddleboarding is currently the fastest growing watersport worldwide and its easy to see why. The ability to explore new places with such a simple bit of equipment makes it very flexible and is perfect for those who want to have fun on the water. We’re not advocating changing sports, far from it but instead suggesting that an SUP is a perfect adition to a yacht, especially for cruising in the crystal clear waters of our flotilla destinations.
Most modern SUP’s are inflatable but huge advances in manufacture in recent years has made them very stiff and you would be hard pressed to tell the difference to a solid board if the SUP is properly inflated. Having an inflatable paddleboard works perfectly for a cruising yacht as it allows you to store it either on deck or below depending on the conditions. When you arrive in a beautiful bay thats when the magic starts.
To set up a Stand Up Paddleboard from scratch takes between 5 and 10 minutes depending on how quickly you can pump it up. The first stage is to make sure the valve is out before inserting the pump otherwise the air can rush out of the SUP, to do this simply rotate it until it springs out. Once this is done you can insert the pump and inflate to the pressure on the valve (or at least 10psi). Once inflated attach the leash and if separate attach the fins.
Once your ready to go there are a few techniques that will help you get exploring. The first is to check the paddle length. The simplest way of doing this is to adjust it to an arm’s length above you head which means the whole paddle will be in the water when standing up. When you get on the board stand on the centreline with one foot on either side of the handle. The best way to learn the various strokes is to watch Daryl do his stuff in the video then get out on the board and play around in a safe area.
Safety is very important with any watersport and SUPing is no different. The most important consideration is to always wear the leash. This is attached to the back of the board and then placed around either ankle. Inflatable SUPs are very light and can easily travel faster than someone can swim making the leash key. For those who are uncomfortable swimming or children a buoyancy aid is advised as these will keep someone afloat if they fall off the board, buoyancy aids are available on all Seafarer Flotillas on request.
The wind is always a risk when SUPing, especially for beginners and thus if the wind is force 3 or above it is recommended to stay upwind of the moored yacht, thus making it easy to return if there is a problem. If you find yourself unable to return to the yacht then you can either kneel on the board and use the paddle or place the paddle on the deck and lie on top of it, paddling with your hands. This acts to hugely reduce your windage.
Storage and Transport
In our opinion the easiest way to launch the SUP is the throw it over the side while holding onto the leash (or attach it to guardrail) then take the it round by the least to the stern. This avoids trying to manoeuvre the SUP through the Bimini and past the wheel/wheels. To retrieve it use a similar technique to lift it over the guardrails on either side of the yacht, this may be easier with two people. When sailing you can tie the SUP to the guardrails just make sure the fins are either facing outwards or are taken off and the SUP is not fouling the jib sheets. If you’re not intending to use the SUP for a few days bits best to deflate it and either store it in the bag on deck or below. When storing on deck beware that SUPs suffer badly from UV radiation from the sun and thus, they should be kept in the bag when not used regularly or covered on the guardrail.
Booking & More Information
Stand Up Paddleboards are available from all our flotillas (except Turkey & Thailand) and included in all Greek cabin charter holidays. If you want to add one or more to your boat give us a call on 0208 324 3118. Its worth booking early for peak season as there is often loads of demand.
Crew Wanted! – Seafarer continues to operate flotillas in Croatia, France and Greece, as well as cabin charter in Greece and Croatia and our RYA training centres in Greece and Croatia, so we are now recruiting for a wide range of positions across all our products.
At Seafarer we pride ourselves in the quality of our crew, and our repeat clients often request them by name, which is a testament to both the quality of our crew, and of the importance of them to our clients’ holidays. As an independent company, our crew make the difference – our role is to ensure that all our clients receive an individual and personal service, something that is often hard to achieve in a larger company. From a crew point of view, this means that you aren’t just another “small cog in a large machine” but an essential part of our “family”. Like our clients, you will be treated as an individual, and have the ability to make your mark – we encourage you to think of new ideas, which can be easily heard by the small management team – good ideas will always be yours, and when practical, can be implemented quickly.
We look for crew of all ages, great for those starting in the industry after a fast track program, and also for those embarking on a new career – it’s all about people, so personable, enthusiastic and confident individuals can thrive with us, whatever their age. If you are new to the industry, then a flotilla first mate or skipper position is a fantastic place to start, whether your long term goal is to remain in the flotilla sector, or broaden your horizons into Skippered charter, instruction, superyachts or management. Like your driving license, your Yachtmaster Offshore means you are ready to learn and gain experience, and looking after a fleet of yachts on flotilla is a fast track in itself. For those looking to try something new after experiencing the fun of flotilla, then our cabin charter program might be for you – a larger yacht, more sailing and guests on board provide another set of challenges and skills to master. Click here for more information on flotilla crew vacancies – crew vacancies
If you are a RYA Cruising Instructor or Yachtmaster Instructor and the thrill of sitting in a damp yacht saloon in Osborne Bay teaching secondary port calculations is wearing a bit thin, then we have full season and freelance instructing opportunities in both Greece and Croatia. This is a chance to teach in warmer waters, and to experience a different side to RYA instruction. Our courses are run over a longer duration, so your students (and you!) get the opportunity to enjoy the social side of Mediterranean yachting, particularly as our tuition yachts generally follow the flotilla, giving students and instructors alike the chance to join in with the fun. Click here for more information – instructor vacancies
For all vacancies, we have our minimum requirements, with a commercially endorsed RYA Yachtmaster being the minimum for skippers, and RYA instructor qualifications for both Sail Cruising and Watersports positions. You can find out all the details on all the positions available here
We are now conducting interviews at our offices in North London, so if you are keen on joining the team for the summer, drop an email, with your CV attached, to me – [email protected]
I look forward to hearing from you, and if it works out for us both, welcoming you to the team for 2020 and beyond.
Product Manager Seafarer Cruising & Sailing Holidays
Chief Instructor, Seafarer Training
Click here for more information on all our current vacancies, job descriptions and how to apply
Considering another way to travel to start your Seafarer holiday? Travelling out to our Yacht Bases and Beach Clubs in the Mediterranean overland (and water) may not seem like the most obvious method but for those of an even slightly adventurous nature this can be an easy and enjoyable trip – and at a different pace. There are numerous different routes from the UK to Greece, Croatia & France often including a mixture of high-speed trains, sleeper trains and ferries with the odd bus or taxi if needed.
The key to the trip is not about the time it takes but instead the opportunity to see and savour the changing face of Europe as you head South. Dinner in Paris, breakfast in Milan or lunch in Munich are just some of the possible highlights as you follow in the footsteps of the Orient Express.
The travel time to different destinations varies with France being the simplest at around 9 hours door to deck whereas Greece is a little more of an adventure. On all trips there are some amazing locations to stop off and even stay over. Being able to break up the journey is a fantastic advantage of this method of travel.
Some of the of the Seafarer team, including myself, will be travelling overland to some of our bases this winter and making some video guides along the way. Our office team will also be on hand to assist with the booking process at all stages to make sure the journey is stress-free and good value for money. Watch this space for more updates on overland travel. Give it some thought…….
For those already overseas due to fly home on a Thomas Cook flight, we have been reassured by the CAA that all is going according to plan. The homebound flights for all Thomas Cook passengers continue with the last flights being on October 6th . These flights will almost certainly be on the day you were due to fly home and as close to the original time as possible. Information on specific flights is available on the CAA website on this link: Repatriation Flights
If you have booked your own Thomas Cook flights independently to join a Seafarer holiday overseas and you need advice or assistance, please call us on 0208 324 32118 or email [email protected]
To all those Seafarer passengers booked by Seafarer to fly on a Thomas Cook flight who have yet to travel, these flights have been cancelled and we are currently in the process of re-booking alternative flights for you. This will be at no additional cost to you and we will contact you hopefully within the day to confirm your new flight arrangements the cost of which is being covered by Seafarer.
If you are already overseas and are due to fly home on a Thomas Cook flight within the next two weeks, we have been reassured by the CAA that they are organising the homebound flights for all Thomas Cook passengers already abroad. These flights will almost certainly be on the day you were due to fly home and as close to the original time as possible. Since this involves 150,000 passengers, they are working through this as quickly as they can and we will advise of the homebound flight arrangements as soon as possible.
If you have booked your own Thomas Cook flights to join a Seafarer holiday overseas and you need advice or assistance, please call us on 0208 324 32118 or email [email protected]
SEAFARER MD DRUMMING UP SUPPORT FOR GOOD CAUSES AT ‘THE CAUSE’
Every serious charitable seafaring music fan needs to know about Stonebridge – a 3-piece popular music ensemble playing rock / jazz / reggae / funk cross-over. Something of a hidden secret to date, they’re putting on a live gig to raise money for two charities close to every sailor’s heart. It takes place on Friday 30th August at a club called The Cause in Ashley Road, Tottenham Hale, N17 9LZ.
Chris ‘Bonzo’ Lorenzo, Seafarer Holidays’ MD, provides the percussive power that drives the combo along and says the playlist runs from 60’s thru 90’s with a couple of original numbers thrown in for good measure. Stonebridge have also secured talented singer and guitarist duo ‘Taking Notes’ as a back-up act.
SHORING UP COASTAL COMMUNITIES
Given the nature of seafaring the two charities benefitting from the gig are particularly supportive of coastal communities damaged by hurricanes and storms (there, but for the grace of God, go we). They are Disaster Emergency Committee (D.E.C.) and Medecins Sans Frontieres.
WE’D LOVE TO SEE YOU THERE
The gig starts at 8pm and runs until 10.30. There will be a bar at the venue and parking in Ashley Road. The venue itself is about 200m from Tottenham Hale Station (on the Victoria Line or Overground). There are various eateries in the vicinity (Ferry Boat Inn or Pizza Hut) and even a Premier Inn right across the road just in case you want to stay in town for the Bank Holiday weekend.
Of course, you might already have made plans to prom on down to the Albert Hall and catch ‘Jeptha’ – arguably Handel’s greatest oratorio. So we’ve made sure you can still feel good about giving to charity anyhow. Clicking the above links will let you donate directly – you don’t actually have to turn up while they tune up, tune in or tune out!
September 1st marks the beginning of the first race week at Nikiana Beach Club. A chance for sailors of all abilities to have a go at racing in the fun and inclusive waters off the Greek island of Lefkas.
What is Dinghy Racing?
SInce the first sails where hoisted up a mast informal races have occurred with the thrills of driving small boats faster before the wind, trying to best ones adversary delighting many a sailor. Racing was formalised for both Dinghies & Yachts in the 19th Century and continues to be a big part of both parts of the sport to this day. The thrill of trying to outwit and drive the boat harder than your opponents brings many people into what we all know as the best sport in the world. Not to mention the delicious pint in the club while those same adversaries enjoy recounting the water based experiences so recently lived.
What is Race Week?
Nikiana Beach Clubs race week is designed for those who are both wanted to learn to race for the first time and those that want to improve their racing in the warm water off Nikiana. Fifteen hours tuition is included with a number of different groups for those of different abilities. For those new to racing the the main focus will be how to get around a racecourse quickly with some focus on the start and rules. For those who are more advanced, the tactics will come into play more along with how you interact with other boats.The week will take place in both Single & Double Handed boats along with some faster ones for those who are keen.
Who can join?
Race week is open to anyone who can happily sail a dinghy around a triangular course through to those with considerable experience sailing. For those not so keen on racing all other RYA Courses are available during this week.
Race week is priced at £595 per person including return flights from Gatwick Airport and runs from the 1st to the 8th September. Checkout Here for more details on Nikiana Beach Club.
Sailing a tropical paradise
Weekly departures from 11th January to 11th April 2020
A few months back we sent a survey asking where you’d like to see us launch a winter flotilla.
Well, we read your replies and after testing the waters (literally!) with our Thailand Rally back in June, we are launching our new winter flotilla in Thailand this winter.
Running from 11 January up to April, our Thailand flotilla explores the beautiful Phi Phi Islands. We have of course been promoting bareboat and cabin charter holidays here for years and our long-standing local trusted partner in Phuket ensures we have a great fleet of yachts and catamarans on offer together with top class support and outstanding local knowledge.
The area offers some great sailing, amazing coastal scenery including iconic sights such as the so called ‘James Bond Island’ as well as fascinating local culture. This is a 7 night flotilla giving the opportunity for sail & stay combinations in Phuket, Bangkok and beyond. We offer a fleet of monohulls and catamarans as well cabin charter, sailing Thailand’s wonderful Phi Phi islands.
Sail & Stay
The area offers limitless possibilities to go exploring or relax at a superb beach resort pre and post cruise We offer options to extend your stay in a beach hotel in Phuket or take a connecting flight to Thailand’s exciting capital Bangkok for a couple of days before your return flight to the UK. There are also possibilities in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam. Talk to one of our consultants who will be happy to assist you with a tailor made package.
You can expect temperatures in the high 20’s to low 30’s c and plenty of sunshine Winds are typically north easterly at this time of year and range between force 2 and maximum force 6.
Cruising level 2+
With some moderate to brisk sailing winds, and moderate tides the area is best suited to those with reasonable previous experience. Most nights are at anchor with plenty of use of dinghy and outboard to get ashore.
Phuket is an Island located in the southwest of Thailand in the Andaman Sea and is considered as the centre of one of the world’s most beautiful sailing areas. The area boasts countless idyllic islands, secluded beaches and all in lush tropical surroundings. The spectacular Phang Nga Bay with its amazing limestone pinnacles made famous through the James Bond film, is just one among many iconic sights we will explore on this amazing trip.
The lead yacht will be a large one with en suite cabins, so for those that don’t want to charter an entire yacht, you can book by the cabin. The support and camaraderie you have come to expect on a Seafarer flotilla will be there with daily briefings and some group meals as well visits to points of interest.
The area features stunning anchorages suitable for overnight stays as there are very few harbours and marinas, whilst charming villages offer unique lunchtime stops. Many of the islands in this region are ringed with dazzling coral reefs so rich in marine life that you’ll be tempted to spend much of your time in the water rather than on it.
All in all it’s a great mix of natural beauty, history and culture plus some great sailing as the icing on the cake!
Day 1: The journey from the airport will give you your first glimpse of the lush Thai vegetation, Buddhist temples, and picturesque villages.
Day 2: After breakfast and the welcome briefing, we set sail to Koh Hong. This amazing site is only accessible by tender through a cave leading you to a lake surrounded by 100m cliff. Lunch at anchor.
Day 3: Depart to Koh Khai Nai, better known as “James Bond Island,” where the movie “The Man With the Golden Gun,” was filmed. Stop at Koh Panyi, a floating village where hundreds of fishermen live. The obvious thing to do is shop for fresh seafood for a fresh seafood feast on board.
Day 4: After breakfast, we sail for Koh Hong East and visit the spectacular lagoon. There is time for lunch then onwards to Koh Dam Kai, stopping at Ao Nang. We drop anchor in the sheltered bay and recommend dinner on board.
Day 5: Next we sail for famous Koh Phi Phi with a stop for lunch at Koh Mai Pai, a beautiful sandy beach with coral, fish, and crystal clear waters, perfect for divers and snorkelers. After lunch, we head to Koh Phi Phi Don, considered one of the most beautiful beaches ever, we also visit Yongsakem Bay (also known as Monkey Bay). Nui Bay for amazing sunset views is a must before, dinner, and overnight in this peaceful anchorage.
Day 6: An early start today as we sail for Koh Phi Phi Ley. Sailing around this island, you’ll discover the spectacular cliffs and caves. We return to Koh Phi Phi Don. Mooring at Ton Sai Bay, an ideal place from which to go ashore for exploration and shopping.
Day 7:After a leisurely breakfast we depart to Koh Kai Nai, a small island with a stunning white sand beach, well worth lingering for a swim, We next depart for Koh Lawa. Where can either go swimming or go hiking ashore. Enjoy a spectacular sunset over dinner.
Day 8: We return to our base at Yacht Haven Marina in the morning after having breakfast on the way.
Note: The above itinerary is indicative and is subject to weather conditions. The lead crew will keep you advised of any necessary changes during the daily briefings
Thailand Flotilla PricesPrices per week (£)
|Yacht||Year||Cabins / sh/WC||18th January -13th March||14th March -4th April|
|Sun Odyssey 409||2012||3/2||£4,045||£3,673|
|Sun Odyssey 469||2015||4/4||£5,532||£4,795|
|Lagoon 400 S2||2015||4/4||£6,727||£5,518|
Rates include: Welcome pack, welcome punch party, beach party bed linen & towels, dinghy & outboard, mooring at base on first and last night,
Sail and Stay Packages
New Solent based sailing school
Managing Director and school principal Chris Lorenzo commented,
Weekend courses start at £249, whilst 5 day RYA courses start from £499.
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Wait....where's the busy marina?
Perhaps the question that comes up the most when we talk about sailing in Croatia is “We’ve heard it is beautiful, but it’s all marinas, right?”
Wrong! We’ve got more than a decade of experience under our belts, and we would love the chance to prove that assumption wrong!
A picture speaks a 1000 words, so here is lovely little Smokvica (“little fig” in Croatian) to show you what a Kornati islands “marina” looks like, oh, and by the way, this was taken yesterday (16th May 2019) just for the non-believers out there!
Yep, we know – loud, full of people, expensive….if you go without the local knowledge, that is…
Either of our flotilla routes starts from our peaceful base – which is located in the sheltered approaches to the Krka River and is ideally and centrally located to explore the best of the Dalmatian Coast. Unlike a busy marina, our base is quiet, with most yachts looking out across the river. A 10 minute stroll along the river leads to the small village of Zaton, which has all the amenities you need for the first and last night of your trip, with a supermarket, restaurants and bars. One of our favourite restaurants is located in Zaton, and we make use of their hospitality on the last night of the flotilla with a farewell meal, showcasing the local speciality, Peka, which is cooked under the hot coals in an outdoor fire.
Once the experienced local team have finished the briefings, its time to head out sailing, and depending upon the week, heading either north to the Kornati national park, or South towards Trogir and Split. One or other of the routes may appeal particularly if you are looking for either culture and history or alternatively national parks and the unspoilt Croatia, although of course the perfect choice would be to combine both routes in a two week holiday to experience the best of both.
The Kornati Route
Our route heading north focuses on the Kornati National Park, often referred to as a “nautical paradise”. The park comprises 89 islands, islets and reefs and provides some excellent sailing and some beautiful spots from which to swim, relax and enjoy the unspoilt surroundings. Weather permitting, we avoid marinas entirely on this route, with a mixture of town quays and restaurant quays – very different from the regular image of busy marinas that pepper the coast and islands. We ease into the week in Zlarin, an island without cars giving a peaceful first night away from our base. Other stops on the route include Zminjak, a beautiful bay with a single restaurant – mooring is free, and the restaurant is excellent, with the bay providing the opportunity to enjoy an evening or morning swim in pristine waters. Smokvica next (photo above). After your free sail (with dozens of choices) its “friends reunited” in Skradin, and the trip to the falls.
The Trogir Route
Our Southern stops showcases the cultural and historic side of this beautiful coastline. The first of our favourites is Primosten, a small town dating back to the 16th century, originally strategically situated on an island – connected to the mainland by a movable bridge that has since been replaced with an embankment, turning it into a peninsula. The walled old town is stunning, and the views from the church at the top of the hill are well worth the climb through the cobbled streets. Rogoznica is next, on the way to Trogir, perhaps the biggest draw, and this UNESCO protected world heritage site has often been described as a “mini Dubrovnik” with a maze of cobbled streets, full of bars and restaurants, enclosed within the imposing city walls.
For the sailors
The winds in the area can be challenging at times, but the protected nature of the waters means that sailing is virtually guaranteed. The temperatures are idyllic during the summer months, with August high in the mid-thirties, although the breezes tend to keep the temperature manageable. Our experienced flotilla crew and local team know the area very well and ensure that any changes to the route are measured to keep everyone safe and enjoying the best that the Adriatic has to offer.
And whats more, we've got some great deals too...
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