A holiday is to be enjoyed, from the planning, through the trip itself, to the journey home.  So this section looks at some of the things that can cause participants to worry rather than relax to try and put your mind at rest.

Thousands of people go on sailing holidays every year without problems and you can too.  If you’re worried, take the initiative to tackle your fears rather than letting them mount. The old adage says a problem shared is a problem halved.  Well the good news with sailing is that some problems can be completely solved if only you take the initiative and let your skipper know.

"So are you steering?" "No, are you?" How it should be - relaxed.

“So are you steering?” “No, are you?” How it should be – relaxed.

The shining example occurred to me many years ago when taking my brother on his first sailing trip. Never a good traveller (he used to suffer car sickness) he was understandably apprehensive but had no problem with the calm sail down from Dartmouth to Salcombe, despite my rather heavy handed mooring (I hadn’t appreciated the yacht had an offset prop).  Next day we awoke to force 8’s but with the yacht needing to be returned and work next day we headed out.

It was a fairly hideous trip and even I wasn’t feeling too grand.   My brother looked like death and sat rigid in the cockpit throughout.  On arrival at Dartmouth, I congratulated him on keeping his stomach intact.  “Oh no, I didn’t feel sick, I was just waiting for the  yacht to capsize” he said.  “They don’t do that” I replied, launching in to the usual explanation. I didn’t get to finish. “Why didn’t you tell me that before we left?”. “Errm, well, I never really though about it, I sort of, errm, assumed you knew”. The rest of the  conversation is best left unreported though it was fairly short and explicit!

If you are the skipper and you’re worried, that in my book is good (at least in small measure) – worried skippers rarely hit things or damage people, it’s usually the know it all “I’ve got my Yachtmaster” types who come unstuck.  If you’re really scared then get yourself a few days on a refresher course before you go, or book a skipper for at least part of the trip.  If you are worried to death on holiday, you are very unlikely to hide it so you will not only spoil your holiday but probably everyone else’s too.

I’ve already covered one common fear – health problems, and as well as some thinking ahead, I’ve also provided some health tips on things to do and not do whilst you’re away.  So lets take a look at some of the other concerns; seasickness, safety and travel disruptions.