How to experience sailing without leaving home

Having just returned from a week of sailing around the BVI’s I have to say the sand, sun, water and snorkeling were all awesome. Spending a week living on a sailboat allows you to see lots of the beaches and local watering holes dotting the BVI’s, which are accessible by boat only. While it’s a really fun time and there’s nothing like harnessing the power of the wind alone to move you from place to place cleanly (if slowly), there are “challenges” to this way of life as well.

With this in mind, I’m offering a handy “guide to experiencing life on a sailboat without leaving home.” Guaranteed if you follow these steps, you will feel a bit of the sailors life.

  1. Trade in your comfy tempur-pedic mattress for a giant waterbed with full wave action in your room. Hire someone to stand beside your bed and randomly push down on their side of the bed with all their might… all night while you (attempt to) sleep.
  2. Open all your windows and install giant fans, set to “full gale force” settings and have the person working your bed at night to intermittently turn all the fans on, sending 25 – 35 mph winds through your room (note: the wave action should increase with each gust of wind action). Also have them occasionally spray water on your face until you physically get up from bed and take the water bottle from them. After you do this, they must then turn the thermostat to 90 and turn the fans off. Continue wave action. If you get too hot, you may give them back the water sprayer and they may turn the fans back on, but they must spray again in the near future. Repeat until morning.
  3. At least a couple of times per week, turn on loud speakers in your yard with reggae music, and have your neighbors come out and simulate harbour mooring neighbors by standing on their boats yelling along to “No Woman, No Cry” in a drunken, flat scale, sometime around 1 AM.
  4. Another night, have someone blow up dynamite next to your bedroom wall, to simulate when you anchored too shallow and your keel is bumping the hell out of the bottom and jarring you awake each time.
  5. Invest in a handly little trash can for your toilet and for a full week put nothing in the toilet which you did not eat first. Everything else gets piled up in your trash can… EVERYTHING.
  6. Once you have done your business, reach down for your newly installed lever by the toilet and pump like hell for about 30 seconds, or until you’ve cleared the lines. Be sure to keep your eyes, nose and mouth away from the area directly above the toilet to avoid any surges in back-pressure while pumping.
  7. For your shower, screw a water hose into your bathroom sink. Stand there and turn it on to a dribble… barely enough to get your body mostly wet and turn it off again. Lather up as best you can and then… dribble the water again to rinse off most of the soap. Turn off water and call it good. Then turn around and wipe down the walls and floor of the bathroom.
  8. When you walk through your house, occasionally veer hard to the right or left, slamming yourself into the wall (or table, cabinet corner, etc.). You can probably perfect this move if you drink heavily first. If you don’t recall where all the bruises came from… just blame it on the waves.

Yes kids, just follow these simple steps and you too, can experience life on a sailboat. Enjoy your trip (oh and keep the Bonine handy – you may need it ;-)!