I’m currently writing this piece fresh from a four week unforgettable voyage from Monfalcone, Italy to Kornati, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, ending in Lefkada, Greece. Boat trips and cruise journeys can be lots of fun, but this was my first long-haul sailing journey, and I’ve never had a better time! The biggest perk about sailing is the freedom: weather permitting, you go wherever you want, whenever you want, and it’s an extremely empowering and liberating feeling that I’ve never experienced before when traveling. Including me, the crew was a small group of two, sailing a 55 foot Hallberg-Rassy. It’s essentially a floating home, with two guest cabins, one master en suite cabin, fully equipped kitchen, heating, air conditioning, washing machine, and television.

 

Besides the excitement of traveling, I loved this trip because it forced me to live consciously because the convenience and amenities of life on land were not available. At each port that we stopped at, we would stock up on fresh and non-perishable goods to last for the week. We limited all single-use plastic and made sure to reuse what we could. I cooked most meals in the kitchen, using fresh and simple ingredients. We also made sure to clean with all eco-friendly products too because everything gets washed out to sea.

 

The trip was an exciting adventure, and I got to learn so much about every aspect of boating life including putting up sails, navigating anchorages, wind speed and temperature, and working with the ropes on the boat. Sailing is as much of an art as it is a science – wind speeds need to be monitored and while the boat can be turned to auto-pilot, someone always needs to keep watch for other boats or possible obstructions. Sometimes we had to motor up if the wind died down, but once the engine is off and we’re sailing with the wind, the boat is completely silent and all you hear are the sounds of the wind and water.

 

From Monfalcone, Italy, we went to Croatia, where I got to paddle board in the morning in my pyjamas! We sailed to Montenegro where we initially planned to stay for a week before sailing to Albania, but due to some paper work issues, we couldn’t stay and decided to power through a 26 hour overnight sailing journey to Greece. We couldn’t have picked a better night to do a night sail – I was on watch duty (since there was only two of us, we took turns) and was witness to the most spectacular sunset that seemed to last forever. I discovered that there’s actually a two hour window between the sun setting and the moon rising, and it’s during this time that the sky goes completely pitch black and all the stars shine. Lying on the deck in the perfect temperature (it doesn’t get cold until the moon comes up), I was surrounded by stars. It was a rare moment when your conscious mind ceases to comprehend what’s going on around you and your heart takes over. I can’t really explain the feeling but it’s an overwhelming sense of connectedness that you can only experience when you witness nature in its full magnificence. Being able to see this on my own was pure magic.

 

We knew we had arrived in Greece when we were greeted with vibrant and insanely clear waters. It was cold and windy upon arrival to Corfu, but out of excitement, I jumped into the water anyway. After checking into customs, we visited the majestic waters of Emerald Bay and headed to Paxos to go into town for a bike ride and a walk. Because May is still early season, we were able to enjoy many things to ourselves! For the last five days of the trip, we sailed to Lefkada. After this trip, I’ve fully learned the healing powers of the water. The Adriatic sea is packed with minerals and nutrients that are good for your skin and soul. Besides sunscreen, for the duration of the whole trip, I stopped using my normal army of skincare products, and my skin has never felt more amazing.

 

We ended our journey in Meganisi. It was a bittersweet moment, surrounded by amazing waters but knowing that the journey was coming to an end. Sailing to Greece was one of the best experiences of my life with the ease of travel through the waters and plenty of neighboring islands to keep your curiosity satisfied. If you’re looking for a different kind of travel experience, I recommend sailing 100%. It’s a great way to escape the crowds and get some peace and quiet while exploring some of the best views of the sea and sky. Dreaming of my next sailing adventure already…

xx

CDD

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