July 12, 2023

Secrets happy family cruising

There's a feeling you get, somewhere between that first smell of saltwater and the slow, rhythmic lull of the waves. It’s a feeling of freedom, a release, a return to a simpler time. I've been a lot of places, experienced a wealth of tastes, and seen countless faces — but the allure of a day on the open sea, family in tow, is an experience like no other.

Now, I'm no old sea dog, but I've spent a fair share of time on the water. My culinary journeys have taken me from the bustling rivers of Bangkok to the serene canals of Venice. And through it all, I've picked up a few tips and tricks for making a day of boating an easy, breezy, and thoroughly enjoyable affair.

Lesson 1: Embrace Simplicity

When you're cruising out there, on the glassy surface of the ocean, remember, it's not about the size of the boat, or how many cutting-edge gadgets it boasts — it's about the experience, the connections, the memories. It's tempting to overcomplicate things, to pack in a world of activities. But don't. The beauty of a day on the water is in its simplicity. Catch a fish. Dive in for a swim. Or just kick back, cocktail in hand, and soak up the sun.

Lesson 2: Plan, but be Flexible

Sure, an itinerary can help, but don't carve it in stone. The ocean doesn’t operate on a timetable, and neither should you. Watch the kids splash in the surf, teach them to skip stones or tie sailor knots. If the fish aren't biting, try somewhere else. If the wind picks up, unfurl the sail and feel the power of nature at your fingertips. Let the day unfold naturally.

Lesson 3: Pack Smart

The perfect day at sea isn't complete without the perfect spread. And I'm not talking about catered canapés or pre-packaged sandwiches. Think charcuterie, sharp cheese, crusty bread. Something you can eat with your hands, sitting cross-legged on the deck. Fresh fruits, a bottle of good wine, maybe some local delicacies you picked up at a dockside market. A real sea-faring meal isn’t about fuss. It’s about flavor. The kind that requires nothing more than a cool sea breeze and good company to enjoy.

Lesson 4: Enjoy the Ride

It's easy to get wrapped up in destinations, but remember that old cliché about the journey? It's doubly true at sea. The charm is in the voyage itself. Enjoy the play of sunlight on the water. Appreciate the gulls wheeling overhead, the quiet burble of the motor, the refreshing spray of seawater. Being on a boat gives you a new perspective. Savor it.

So there you have it. Whether you're a landlubber getting your sea legs or an old hand at the helm, these tips should help you navigate a day of sea-borne fun with ease and enjoyment. Because, at the end of the day, it's about much more than just the boat or the sea. It's about the shared laughter, the united sense of adventure, and the moments that, like sea spray and sunlight, become part of our life's fabric.

All aboard, folks. The sea awaits.

Charlie Hardcastle
Charlie is Editor-in-Chief of Sea Magazine
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