What to expect when undertaking an RYA Day Skipper qualification.

In this post, I will take you through my journey of becoming a Day Skipper. I will take you through the necessary steps, and speak about what you should expect in your assessment.


The time line

So you love the idea of chartering a yacht in the Mediterranean this summer but there’s one thing you don’t have… the qualification. Below is the RYA journey of becoming an accomplished sailor.


You are the captain now!

Greece bareboat yacht charter guide

Competent crew (referred to commonly as comp crew) should be the first step unless you have a few years of sailing experience and are comfortable taking charge of the yacht. Remember, you are the captain of the yacht – you have to be able to confidently lead the crew.


Sailing Knowledge

Croatia bareboat Yacht Guide

In my experience, it was beneficial to my learning that I completed the classroom theory. This enabled me to execute assessments quickly and confidently in the practical without getting flustered. If you decide you do not want to do the theory you must have basic knowledge of:
– Tides and how to use tidal curves
– Course to steer (CTS)
– How to read charts and identify heights and symbols
– Rules of the road (COL regs)
– Know how to operate and identify safety equipment
– Mayday procedures / VHF understanding (countries like Croatia demand that you have a VHF license, or that someone on your yacht has a VHF license)
– Know how to sail!


Day 1 – Familiarisation

There she is, the beauty! Yacht Gemini, the yacht I took my day skipper on.

Italy yacht charter guide

We stepped aboard the yacht early morning after registering. We settled in, went through some safety aspects and how the week would run. The yacht was composed of the assessor, 2 days skippers (I was one of them) and two comp crew. It was down to the day skippers to ensure the comp crew guys were safe, and to teach about sailing.

The first day was calm, we did some motoring, manoeuvring and moorings. The first day the assessor is evaluating your ability and confidence level. They will ask you some questions like where’s the wind coming from, what knot would you use – real simple stuff! Don’t worry this is a course, not an examination.


Day 2 – Anchoring & Maneuvering

French Riviera yacht charter guide

The second day gets more into the technical aspects of sailing. Anchoring, using mooring buoys and again, more maneuvering in small spaces. We also touched on points of sail, and sail set up. The assessor is constantly evaluating how you control the crew – without being horrible and bossy! You need to show that you can be calm, collected and most importantly safe.


Day 3 – Night sail, CTS & Charts.

Spanish yacht charter guide

The third day we compleated our night sail – now – this is where recognizing lights and light signatures is extremely important! Yes, even at Day Skipper level you will have to do a night sail for the ‘just in case’ moments in life. Please note day skippers are not allowed to do night sails and must be docked before sunset! If you have sailed between the Isle of Wight and Southampton you will know how terrifyingly amazing it is. The Solent is extremely busy, with huge cargo ships coming in and out all the time. It is important to keep an eye out – you could be asked to identify markers/buoys and point them out on the chart.


Day 4 – M.O.B (Man Over Board)

Turkey bareboat sailing charter guide


The fourth day was M.O.B day. Aka, get-that-yacht-as-close-to-that-fender-as-possible-in-the-quickest-amount-of-time-day! I completely fluffed up my first attempt. However, in those moments it’s important that you remain calm and deal with the situation. You need to be able to direct your crew clearly. e.g “John go down and make a Mayday Call”, “Peter take down the sails”, “Lucy keep pointing to the casualty” etc. The assessor will explain everything before you are given the attempt so don’t panic!


Day 5 – The last day.

English bareboat sailing charter guide

The last day was relaxed. We had to get in before 2 pm so we were able to clean the yacht ready for the next batch of prospective Day Skippers to embark! The morning consisted of gentle sailing, knot tying competitions and lots of tea. We practiced tacking for the comp crew guys – whom at this point were fantastic and with it.

Jenner’s superyacht birthday 2019

Inside the 1,500,000 EUR a week Superyacht – Tranquillity.

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Hell of a LIFE ????

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Kylie Jenner

The originally named Motor Yacht Equanimity, renamed Tranquility, has been parading around the Italian and French Coast with the worlds youngest billionaire, Kylie Jenner. Kylie has been celebrating her 22nd birthday in true style – we’ve been saying it for years, celebrating on yachts is the best way!

Kylie Jenner, the famous half-sister of the Kardashian Klan, owns and produces her own makeup named ” Kylie Cosmetics” which have made several appearances during her charter. The reported worth of Kylie Jenner is $900 million,

M/Y TRANQUILLITY – THE FACTS.

  • Summer prices: €1,500,000 per week  + expenses
  • Winter prices €1,100,000 per week + expenses
  • Number of Cabins: 11
  • Total Guests (Sleeping): 18
  • Total Guests (Cruising): 26
  • Max N° of Guests for Quayside Events: 120
  • Cabin Configuration: 9 Double, 2 Twin, 2 Convertible
  • Total Crew: 29
  • Number of Beds: 13

M/Y TOBY available to charter in ITALY

M/Y TRANQUILLITY WATERTOYS

  • 2 x Hodgson Tenders 10.5m
  • 4 x kayaks 
  • 3 x Jet skis
  • 2 Wakeboards, 
  • 4 Paddleboards
  • 1 trampoline with the runway. 
  • 2x Seabobs F5S
  • 1x Quick Charger
  • 1x Radinn Electric Wakeboard
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amore mio ?

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The mother of one, has been experiencing some of the best cruising grounds in the whole of the Mediterranean. Fancy living like the rich and famous? Check out our Luxury crewed yachts! We also have a large selection of yachts in The Amalfi Coast and the French Riviera.

The BVI Bounces Back for 2020

Following the hurricane IRMA and MARIA, it is a well-known fact that most of the BVI’s infrastructure, boats and marinas were completely destroyed. Most charter companies had entire fleets either damaged or destroyed. However, the BVI has taken this nightmare as an opportunity to renovate and re-establish itself as the best place to charter in the Caribbean. The resilience of a tight-knit community, devoted holidaymakers and a great tourist board has allowed the BVI to be completely rejuvenated for 2020.

Forbes magazine reported that 75% of the territory’s marine berths and 37% of land accommodation reopened this Spring.  Airways and ferries have also opened back up to full capacity following the destruction with the hurricane.

Willy T’s comeback

The infamous William Thornton floating back is back on Norman Island for 2020. The new Willy T is rumored to be bigger than ever! As one of the most iconic floating bars in the world, the new Willy T was constructed in the US before returning to the BVI on May 10th.  The New boat is very similar to the original vessel and is already making its comeback for being renowned for parties, food, shots, and tattoos! Be sure to visit the new Willy T when you can.

Scrub Island Resort and Marina

The resort has just reopened with ten new villas and 52 guest rooms. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind before or after your yacht charter.

Foxys – Jost Van Dyke

After all, having served food and drinks to sailors since 1968 this bar was not going to let a storm affect their service, There is still an infamous BBQ running on Friday and Saturday night and a great menu and party vibe throughout the week.

Have a read over the recommend Boatbookings post IRMA sailing itinerary to get an insight into your yacht charter with Boatbookings this winter!

The Seychelles

The Seychelles are an archipelago of the Indian Ocean. There are over 100 islands, some volcanic, but most of them coralline. The largest island, where the capital rises, is Mahé.

In The Seychelles there are two sites declared a World Heritage from UNESCO: Aldabra, the largest coral atoll in the world and the Vallee de Mai on Praslin, a very ancient forest believed to be the Garden of Eden.

The Seychelles are famous all over the world for the amazing coral reef, the incomparable landscapes, the crystalline blue water, the white soft sand, and the incredible nature.

This paradise on earth is inhabited by rare and unique wildlife, that every year bring tourists from all over the world. The sea and land turtles are one of the biggest attractions.

The Aldabrachelys is a giant turtle that you will be able to see on The Aldabra Island. These incredible animals survived the evolutionary changes, thanks to the geographical isolation that protected them for millennia from modern predators.

Males can be up to 120 centimeters and weigh around 250 kg. Females can reach a little over 90 centimeters in length and weigh around 160 kilos. They are among the most long-lived animals on the planet.

Besides these incredible land creatures, you will also be able to see sea turtles if you go diving or snorkeling.

There are five different species of marine turtles living in the sea around the Seychelles islands. Alphonse Island, Astove Atoll, Cosmoledo Atoll, and Poivre Atoll are the main destinations where is possible to see these ancient animals in their natural habitat.

These unique animals are used to getting used to seeing humans, for this reason, if you are lucky you will not only be able to see them but also swim with them.

This is only one of the many incredible experiences that this place can offer. The people, the food and the magical atmosphere of this island will make you experience an incredible journey. Seychelle is definitely a place to visit once in a lifetime.

Staying hydrated on your yacht charter

aerial view of people relaxing on beach on hot summer day on Amalfi coat, Italy

The top 5 beach bars to visit this summer

Different parts of the world call for a different beach club vibes. Broker Alice guides you on the best beach clubs to visit this summer.

Spending time at beach clubs, restaurants and bars ashore is a key part of the yacht charter experience and we feel as though you need to be prepared for what to wear on every occasion of your yacht charter.

Scorpios – Mykonos

The cosmopolitan capital of the Cyclades, Mykonos, profits from having many chic restaurants and bars to visit. The favourite for this summer is Scorpios. Fine Greek wines, DJ’s, dancing, Greek food, and a boho vibe make Scorpios a very unique experience. This beach club profits from a Moroccon vibe and a panoramic sea view for you to enjoy whilst dancing the day away at this beach club.

Anjuna Plage- Eze – South of France

Nestled in a protected bay amongst the sparkling Mediterranean sea, Anjuna beach awaits to provide one of the best beach clubs on the globe. The restaurant is relaxed with cool tones of Caribbean blue throughout. At 4 PM the restaurant turns quickly into a party place with people dancing on tables, live bands performing and Provencal Rosé being served in abundance throughout the premises! This beach club is perfect for a summers day with both family and friends.

Croatia- Hvar – Hula Bar

For chasing sunsets and mojitos there is no better bar than the Hula bar. During the day there is a beach lounge and atmosphere then as soon as sunset hits this bar transforms into the perfect sunset spot. Giant cocktails, DJ’s and dancing take place in this hub every night during the summer months in Hvar. Take a water taxi from your boat to arrive in style at the Hula Bar.

Le Club 55- St Tropez

With a worldwide reputation for its crystal clear rose wine, traditional blue and white stripes and A-listers throughout, Club 55 retains a sense of tradition and superiority that nowhere else will ever attain. With French cuisine, a lively environment and many superyachts this place really has been the chicest place in St Tropez since 1955.

Staniel Cay Yacht Club- The Bahamas

Moor up with friendly nurse sharks and head for lunch at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. The vibe here is Bahamian and relaxed. The Mahi Mahi served here will not disappoint! Stop off here before going to visit the friendly swimming pigs at a nearby beach!

What to wear this summer

Head to Pranella or Amenapih for the perfect beach wardrobe. Expect to find shells on bikinis, detailed swimming costumes, and long floral dresses to ensure that you have the right look for any beach club! Amenapih is found along every back street of St Tropez and if you look closely this summer you will see shells lining every outfit across the globe.

West Coast of Corsica Part 1.

Broker Cordy gives an insight into her time working onboard Megayachts

One of my favorite places to cruise when I worked onboard mega yachts (Giga yachts weren’t around then!) was the stunning West coastline of Corsica. I was fortunate to work for a wonderful English family who adored this area, so it is where we spent the majority of the summer. On a displacement yacht cruising at around 12knots, the journey from Cannes to St Florent is around 10 hours which can normally be achieved overnight. So, if you are on the French Riviera and fancy something a little different, why not enjoy a wonderful dinner on board anchored at the Iles des Lerins, Cannes, and then start your journey after this. Be sure to ask the crew to wake you up at dawn to dolphin watch! One of the most amazing experiences at sea.

Arriving in St Florent is stunning, this pretty little fishing port has a host of local restaurants and bars huddled around the marina. Restaurant de l’Europe and Le Grill are perfect places to sit in the sun and watch the world go by!

Having relaxed in the sun, head one street back to the old town full of independent shops selling local charcuterie and souvenirs. Keep heading up and you will reach the citadel, steps from the citadel car park lead down to a small beach. The stunning cathedral de Nebbio is found on the other side of the town on the Chemin de la Cathedrale and is most definitely worth a visit.

For the more energetic persons amongst your group, Le Roya Beach can be found to the southeast of the town offering water sports including windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, jet skis and scuba diving! There really is something for everyone!

Heading west from St Florent is the beautiful town of Calvi. Coming into port you have an incredible view of the citadel, once docked, it is definitely worth climbing up the cobbled streets for breathtaking panoramic views of your surroundings. There are some great restaurants up here as well as the voguish Chez Tao bar!

Once you have soaked up the incredible views, wander around the shops through the old cobbled streets of the town. The marché de l’Orée des Pins is full of local charcuterie, grapes, cheeses, and amazing pastries!

Around the corner, further West from Calvi is possibly the most beautiful spot in the Med! Girolata is a fortified bay at the south of the Scandola Nature Reserve. The setting is spectacular, with the village perched on the peninsula and surrounded by the sea and the famous red rock mountains of this area.  This bay is a wonderful place to anchor and swim ashore to the beautiful beach.

Further south in the Scandola National Park is the bay of Porto where you can find a pretty little village and see more of the stunning Calanques de Piana rock formations.

Having enjoyed the National Park, further south again you will find Ajaccio, famous for being the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte! You can visit the Maison Bonaparte, now a national museum, the ancestral home of the Bonaparte family, to discover more about his life. Ajaccio’s charming old town is a great place to amble and enjoy the beautiful architectural features and stunning landmarks such as the Cathedrale Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption.

The pretty port of Ajaccio is adorned with bars and restaurants serving seafood and pizzas. The perfect place to soak up the atmosphere and admire the view!

Contact Cordy at Boatbookings to plan your Corsican adventure and please keep reading the blog for part 2 of the West Coast of Corsica!

Harmonious Hanse

Hanse was founded in 1993, when it launched its first boat, the Hanse 291, which caused a stir because of its racing prowess. It is now one of the top 5 worldwide manufactures of sailing yachts and is based in Griefswold, Germany.

Hanse Yachts are built with quality materials and furnished beautifully. No expense is spared when creating a Hanse. Their epoxy hulls are built with vacuum-composite technology which produces significantly greater stiffness with 20% less weight. Making her a durable, but light performance cruising yacht.

Hanse Sailing Yachts are known for their quality, comfort, speed, easy sailing, and family-friendly design. They feature self-tacking jibs, fully battened mainsails, and a single-line reefing system that help make sailing a stress-free experience.

Once you have experienced the quality of a Hanse Yacht, you will not want to sail anything else! Why not do a Hanse Yacht Charter in some of the most popular sailing destinations in the world? Check out the range of Hanse’s in Croatia or Greece!

One of Boatbookings most favourite Hanse Yachts has just became available in Croatia! The Hanse 575 is an innovative yacht which is not only aesthetically beautiful to look at but also easy to handle. Hanse has designed the Easy Sailing Concept, a thoughtful design dedicated to the importance of stress-free sailing.


An insight into Cruising the Croatian Coastline.

Dubrovnik

Aesthetically, Croatia is an incredible mix of Soviet and Mediterranean architecture. The impressively built iconic Soviet buildings can still be seen today in the larger towns. In contrast with the harsh architecture, the coastline offers a more Mediterranean, sailing vibe. Along the borders between land and sea are filled with fishing huts, ports, small cafes, and medieval architecture. There is a cathedral in Trogir which was built in the 13th century and stands proudly over the Dalmatian coast. It is an iconic landmark for the historic town of Trogir.

Don`t be fooled by the medieval style of the towns, the Croatians and tourists love to party! With restaurants and bars opening late you`ll be hard pressed not to find a spot to watch the sunset. Want to be part of the action? Why not check out some of our yachts based in the most famous ports in Croatia? We have an extensive collection of Hanses’, Bali catamarans, Bavarias, Dufours and many many more!

If partying to the early hours is not your idea of fun, then head north along the coastline to the quite islands around Šibenik. In this beautiful corner of Croatia, you are encompassed by various National Parks all within sailing distance of Split. The great thing about Croatia is that you can enjoy this country by both land and water. You really do get the best of both worlds with this charter.

Due to the versatility and accessibility, Croatia is increasing in popularity year by year with it becoming one of the hot spots for summer vacations. This does mean that yachts get booked up very quickly! To avoid disappointment why not enquire with us and see what is available?

ITALIAN APERITIVO

This Italian word known all over the world is an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage that is generally consumed between 5pm and 8pm. Nowadays people do not associate the Aperitivo to a beverage, but the word is used to describe the action of gathering with friends before dinner to have a drink and some snacks.

Drinks and cocktails are what generally characterizes an Aperitivo.

Elisa

The Aperitivo was born in Turin, Italy more than 200 years ago. The official drink of the region is the Vermut, an aromatized white wine that became the symbol of Turin. Initially, people who were affected by lack of appetite used to drink it before dinner because it helped to stimulate the appetite. Over the coming years, this became a tradition and people started gathering in the early evening to have a drink. The Vermut can be drunk straight or is now used as a base for many cocktails.

The most typical and popular Italian drinks that are consumed during an aperitivo are Spritz, Negroni, Bellini, wine, and beer.

But let’s go more in the specific of the regions…

FOOD AND DRINKS

The Aperitivo is generally accompanied by food. It is not a proper meal as it is consumed before dinner, but besides drinking, every bar will offer you some snacks! Chips and nuts are the basic food you can have, but you can also decide to have some more sophisticated snacks.

If you go sailing in one of the most popular destinations in Italy, you must stop in one of the bars on the cost and have an Aperitivo like a good Italian!

In Sardinia the bars will probably propose you to taste different cheeses, the most popular is the Pecorino, accompanied by the bread Carasau. These are all typical delicious products produced on the island. Some fresh fruit during a hot day would also be the perfect combination. The white wine Vermentino or the Ichnusa beer are the typical beverages of the island, so it would be worth tasting them. If you are a liquor lover you must try the Mirto, it is a Sardinian liquor obtained from the myrtle plant through the alcoholic maceration of the berries.

In Sicily, traditional food is not known as the lightest, but every dish is unique and absolutely delicious! The passion and the attention on details that it is used to prepare the dishes are fascinating. One of the best-loved Sicilian snacks are the Arancini: fried rice balls stuffed with sauce, peas, cheese or other ingredients. It is a must if you want a traditional Sicilian treat. The Etnabitter is the typical liquor of the region. It is produced with red-orange peel, white wine, honey, almond, and natural herbs. It is used to create many cocktails, so you will be able to taste it in different ways.

In the Amalfi Coast you will be able to taste a mix of different snacks, some of the more elaborated and others more simple, but with an original taste. A typical snack is the small fried mozzarelle, salty cakes stuffed with potatoes and cheese, Chiacchere – fried pizza dough, but you can also find some places that offer you a simple selection of different types of cold cuts, all accompanied by bread or some white focaccia. Limoncello is a lemon liquor typical of the region. From this liquor, it is possible to create different cocktails and one of the most portals in the Amalfi Coast is the Amalfi Breeze which combines the limoncello with the tang of citrus vodka and the sweetness of cranberries.

Nowadays the Aperitivo is a way of gathering with the family or friends, meeting new people, communicating and discovering new places. It is a tradition and is a great way of making good memories.

Fancy enjoying the above? Why not enquire on one of our crewed motor yachts with an exceptional crew who all live and breath the Italian traditions! Get in contact now with one of our Italian experts to understand how you too, can enjoy the best Lemoncello about!