Sailing Trip Tips

We sailed for 7 days and 7 nights with two other couples in the Caribbean on a 38’ catamaran and this is what we learned! We went to St. Martin, St. Barts, and Anguilla.

  1. If you like good head support when you sleep, bring a pillow. What we were provided might as well have been several tissues stuffed in a pillowcase.
  2.  If you are not part of the crew, bring a book. Sailing is super fun, but 7 days of the same seas left plenty of time for reading.
  3. Do not overpack… there isn’t much room on a boat. Instead bring 2 swimming suits, 3 beach coverups, and 4 outfits. The more that these can crossover, the better. I brought two pairs of flip flops, but could have just used 1. I also brought 2 beach towels, and although I brought them back, I was prepared to leave them in St. Martin. Don’t forget two pairs of pajamas that you don’t mind your friends seeing you wear! Several sports bras were a must for me. :)
  4. As a couple, we brought 2 bottles of SPF 30 lotion and 4 spray cans of SPF 30 for reapplication. Include an SPF lip balm, sunglasses, and hat, and you should be good to go. I get burned medium easily and I didn’t get but a slight sunburn on my back one day when some of the SPF must have rubbed off.
  5. They accepted American dollars almost everywhere we went. We brought $500 cash and spent an additional $250 on our debit card in groceries and this was plenty. Bring small bills for tipping.
  6. Consider how you are going to preserve your sailing memories. We bought and brought a GoPro camera for pictures and underwater video and I also collected sand from each place.
  7. Bring your own snorkel gear! The $50 spent is well worth it for an impromptu jump in the sea. I would test it out first in a pool before you leave, my original mask leaked so I had to get another one.
  8. My husband was first mate and he was prepared with UV long sleeve shirts and gloves for the ropes. He definitely needed those gloves. He also rented a fishing pole from the marina for a week to fiddle with when he wasn't working.
  9. The ladies made one trip to the grocery store, while the men got acquainted with the boat. We rented a car for $60 and spent $750 on groceries from the store (total), which included everything from the provisions list below.
  10. Definitely check out the boat first to see what is provided… we had a percolator to make coffee (instructions here), no microwave, charcoal grill (did not use), and propane oven/range. Bring a large tervis tumbler with lid if you tend to like larger drinks that stay cold. The cups that were provided were just so-so.
*** Sea Sickness - this is a personal choice, but I only felt queasy one time in 8-10 foot seas and a quick trip to the side of the boat and looking at the horizon helped me out. One girl wore the seasickness bands on her wrists, and another took Dramamine but was pretty tired all week. No one else had any problems. ***

Our Provisions List – for 6 people for one week. (We ate about 3 meals on shore)

  • 150 bottles of water
  • 3 cases of beer (try the local Carib if you get a chance, very Corona-ish)
  • 6 bottles of liquor, include a local rum – like Guavaberry!
  • 6 bottles of mixers (2 liters of ginger ale, orange juice, sprite, etc.)
  • Coffee, creamer, and sugar/sweetener
  • Small dish-soap, trash bags, ziplock containers or storage bags, sponge, spray bottle of cleaner, toilet paper, and paper towels
  • Snacks: Chips, dips, cookies, trail mix
  • Breakfast: fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, milk
  • Lunch: cold cuts, bread, sliced cheese, peanut butter & jelly
  • Dinners: we took turns cooking and all girls did the cleaning (since the men did the sailing)
  • Meal 1: Spaghetti noodles, Italian sausages, jar of red sauce, frozen garlic bread, shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Meal 2: Frozen burger patties, buns, ketchup, mustard, onion, tomato
  • Meal 3: Chicken tenderloins, bowtie pasta, alfredo sauce, broccoli
  • Meal 4: Ground beef, seasoning, taco shells, sour cream, shredded cheese, black beans, salsa
  • ICE! – We bought 2-3 bags of ice daily. The boat had a cooler, but it would melt per day and we would use ice in our drinks.

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From Charleston, South Carolina to your computer. I hope you enjoy. :)