During our voyage, I picked up many pointers about sailing but the true “lessons learned” were things that will be transferable to other areas of life as well.
1 – Importance of crew selection: this is a bit of a cliché, but it became very evident during our week of travelling in close quarters. Finding people who can work well under adverse conditions and be relied-on as a team member is crucial to enjoying your sailing adventure.
2 – Be aware of documentation required for entering foreign countries: really a no-brainer but worth pointing out. Our situation clearing out of Tunisian could have become quite unpleasant if officials decided to detain us for not having the necessary charter agreement and original boat documents.
3 – Learn the boat before you leave the marina, including what’s available for provisions: we left the marina after dark and didn’t really get a good sense of the boat rigging prior to being on open seas. Our very knowledgeable instructor was available to assist, but in the future I’ll definitely take the time to sort myself prior to setting off. Also while we were underway it was very difficult for me to be down below searching for items that had been stashed in various cupboards. It would have been much wiser to take 10 mins and locate all the necessities while still in the marina.
Overall, this trip was a great demonstration of the old adage “it’s the journey that counts, not the destination”.