Sailing

Life on a Yacht - as Explained by Cartoonist Kyaw Thu Yein

Many of our guests have never been on a yacht before. As a trip on a sailing yacht is very different to a stay in a hotel or on a cruise liner, we asked Myanmar's famous cartoonist Kyaw Thu Yein to help us explain.

Most sailing yachts have a strict shoes-off policy. Sand and street dirt can destroy the wooden decks and little stones are unpleasant to sit or lie on. 

A yacht has to carry its fresh water supplies, which are limited. Some larger boats have water makers which turn sea water to fresh water. However this process requires a lot of energy, so we ask our guests to keep showers short.  

The sea is our world and we like to keep it clean. 

There is no need to be shy if you have a question, the crew members are happy to help where they can. 

Paper and rubbish can easily block the toilets and wastewater tanks on a yacht. In the Mediterranean, many yacht charter companies have to ask their guests to avoid eating olives - the small stones can break the pumps (not sure why some people seem to swallow them). 

It is good etiquette to save electricity and to switch off fans, lights and the air-conditioning when not needed. Yachts generate power with their engine or generator but most sailors like to  avoid the extra noise.   

Fires are extremely dangerous aboard a yacht. For that reason and out of respect for other guests, smoking is only permitted in certain areas on deck.

Sailing looks more difficult than it is. Try it out, your crew will be happy to explain if you ask.

... not only to protect the equipment, but solar panels can also be quite slippery. 

Keep in mind that a sailing boat plays with the wind. And the wind plays games with you if you don't use enough pegs.

Salt water in closed environments can cause an unpleasant smell, so please don't wear wet swimming clothes inside the yacht.

Tipping your yacht's crew at the end of the trip is common practice if you were happy with their service. We usually recommend a tip of USD 10 per day and per guest for cabin charters.   

The cartoons are published in the leaflet "Life on a Yacht" which is part of the information material our guests find in their cabins. 

Reading: Guides on Fishes, Birds, Clouds, Food - and Sailing in Myanmar

There are some great books on Myanmar and on the region we are sailing in. Below is a short list of recommendations for various guide books. You will also find most of the books on this list in our small board library. Please let us know if you have any other suggestions for our library.

For our complete list of reading recommendations, please have a look here.

 

"Marine Fishes of South-East Asia", by Gerald R. Allen, 2009

Few things are as frustrating as snorkelling (or fishing) in Southeast-Asia and not being able to identify the fish in front of you. Allen's book is the best guide for identifying fishes in the region we've come across so far. It even rates each fish for its tastiness!

"Birds of Southeast Asia", by Craig Robson, 2005

This updated edition of the award-winning Princeton Field Guide is the most comprehensive book on Southeast Asia's rich bird life. 

“Burma: Rivers of Flavor”, by Naomi Duguid, 2012

Situated at the crossroads between India, China and Southeast Asia, Myanmar has absorbed foreign influences over the millennia to develop a rich and complex cuisine. Naomi Duguid has been heralded as one of the most important cookbook authors introducing Asian cuisines to the West. In this new book, she explains Myanmar’s food and flavours in 125 recipes, interspersed with intriguing tales from her travels throughout the country.

“The Cloud Collector’s Handbook”, by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, 2011

Sailors love clouds. They are strange and beautiful and they tell us plenty about the weather and the wind. This book catalogues a wide variety of clouds, ranging from commonly observed to rarer types, and is the perfect incentive to keep your head in the clouds.

“Southeast Asia Pilot", by Bill O’Leary & Andy Dowden, 2013

Formerly called “Andaman Sea Pilot”, this is the go-to reference book for anyone planning to sail in the Andaman Sea and beyond. It provides the most detailed descriptions available on sailing conditions, currents, anchorages and the islands in the Mergui Archipelago.

Reading: Classics Set on the Sea

There are some great books set on the sea. Below are a few recommendations. You will also find most of the books on this list in our small board library. Please let us know if you have any other suggestions for our library.

For our complete list of reading recommendations, please have a look here.

 

"Moby Dick", by Herman Melville, 1851

Moby Dick is a seafaring tale that merits a place in every naval library. But the classic story of a mad captain hunting for a whale also explores the concepts of class and social status, good and evil, man's place in the universe and the existence of God.

"The Old Man and the Sea", by Ernest Hemingway, 1952

Hemingway is the most famous of American 20th-century writers and this is his most famous book. "The Old Man and the Sea" is the story of a battle between an old, experienced fisherman and a large marlin. Hemingway is often interpreted as confirming the dignity of struggle and drawing biblical parallels to modern life via this novella.

Sailors Love Clouds

Clouds tell us so much about the weather and the wind. Plus, we think they are simply beautiful.  

So we got excited when we recently came across the website of the "Cloud Appreciation Society". We're not quite sure whether this is all just a very British joke or whether these people are serious about what they are doing. But it seems that this organisation has over 30,000 members. They even made an iPhone App called CloudSpotter

Founder Gavin Pretor-Pinney recently gave a TED talk (see video) in which he said a beautiful sentence: "What an aimless activity it is. You're not going to change the world by lying on your back and gazing up at the sky, are you? It's a pointless activity. Which is precisely why it's so important."

Well, for sailors it's not even aimless.