It’s time to get organized for next year to make the most of early booking and boat show combined discounts. While we are in a planning mood, we’re sharing guidelines on how to sail more responsibly to help protect the beautiful environments our itineraries explore. The international Sailing Federation’s Code of Environmentally Friendly Behaviour is a great starting point and has plenty of advice on being an eco-friendly sailor. We’ve summarised the main points below.

Minimize waste on board

When confronted with an amazing tick box list for provisioning, it is tempting to order everything “just in case”. You may be able to shop as and when you need it instead of doing a huge shop you might not need, if you plan your stops and research the facilities available. This will prevent you over-catering and throwing away waste food and packaging. Often, you’ll find you eat out more than you plan to as you’ll be tempted by all the wonderful restaurants you discover as you charter.

 

 

Look after your trash

When you provision, try to buy from local suppliers rather than the big supermarkets. This will help you cut down on plastic packaging, which means less to put in the garbage. It also minimizes the risk of trash blowing away and ending up in the sea, where it can get ingested by the very wildlife we all enjoy swimming with on our vacation. If you do have plastic packaging, try to dispose of it in the marina before you set sail and use recycle bins when you can.

 

Use the marina facilities

Feel good about visiting marinas and using their facilities to go to the bathroom. When you need to empty holding tanks at sea, make sure you are at least three miles from the shore and away from protected marine areas.

 

 

 

Be a careful sailor

It goes without saying that marine parks and reserves, whether in the British Virgin Islands, Bahamas or the Grenadines, focus on protecting natural beauty so that we can enjoy it in years to come. You’ll find many have different rules and regulations about fishing, swimming or using jet skis, so make sure you research the restrictions before entering protected waters.

Keep your distance from wildlife to avoid collision and injury, and take care when anchoring so the sea bed isn’t damaged by a dragging anchor or a beached boat. While it’s wonderful to find a secluded cove that can only be accessed by boat, make sure that it isn’t a sensitive breeding ground. To be safe, stick to the main cruising grounds.

 

 

Watch out when refueling

Gas pollution can damage our marine environment, so be extra careful when refueling. Use funnels and absorbent materials to prevent oil and fuel entering the water.

 

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