It’s mid-week. You’re at your desk in the office, tired of doing the same number crunching you have been doing for the last 3 and a half years. Maybe you need a break, or you’re just bored. You’re poking about on Facebook and other sites, and somehow land up here on the internet. How about a little daydreaming? Wouldn’t you love to be on a boat?
GET ON BOARD THE NEXT SAILING TRIP COMING RIGHT UP:
28th March – 1st April 2013 (Singapore public holiday: Good Friday weekend)
23rd – 27th of May 2013 (Singapore public holiday: Vesak Day weekend)
The Sail Spin is a world of pristine islands, chic sailing yachts and party people. The success formula is simple – you grab your best friends, choose a trip date, pick out your favourite sailboat, and cast off. Great holiday idea, right?! Modelled after the infamous European Yacht Weeks that I’ve watched wishingly on YouTube, each Sail Spin trip brings together 5-10 yachts full of like-minded people.
Yacht Week in Europe had always been on my bucket list. Now, I get to do it a little closer to home, in Asia!
C’mon, Asia. Let’s do it better. The people are hotter. The waters are warmer. Everyday here is summer.
LOCATION OF PLEASURE: PHUKET, THAILAND
The Sail Spin world revolves around ours… Trips are usually scheduled around Singapore’s public holidays and weekends, to minimize the number of day offs you will have to take at the office. Everyone makes their own flight arrangements to Phuket, because while some ballers want to ride first class, someone like me might not mind flying budget. Also, this way, you are free to travel up from whichever city, or to extend your Phuket pleasures whether it be pre-sailing trip or post-sailing.
PREPARING FOR PLEASURE WITH A WORRY-FREE CONCIERGE SERVICE
I was picked up from the airport and chauffeured to wherever I needed to be. For most landing on the day of, you would choose to join The Sail Spin kickoff party – ours was hosted over a swim and drinks at Catch Beach Club.
SIDENOTE ABOUT CATCH BEACH CLUB: I’ve been to many bars and beach clubs, but let me tell you, this one is breathtaking. I started whining about wishing I came earlier, and if The Sail Spin chooses not to hold their parties here in the future, it is still worth a separate visit. You’ll be plenty entertained just sitting prettily on elegant white furniture, while you stare at the swells of the sea. It swirls seamlessly into a stunning sunset, while the rhythm of Cafe Del Mar ripples into your head. I couldn’t have asked for a more magnificent introduction to my new sailing group of friends.
After this, the shuttles took us straight to Yacht Haven, where a heavenly getaway would begin.
Each trip spans about 4 nights, 5 days, and hops about designated stops around Phuket. The yacht route, on-land activities, in-boat groceries and night-time delights are all pre-planned as part of a ‘worry-free’ hospitality package. Alcohol can either be purchased for cheap at the Phuket International Airport, or show up as an extra charge on your bill if you would like the staff to take care of that.
Before VS After:
(The ‘worry-free’ service is a new and good move by The Sail Spin staff, as during my trip we didn’t have this and we went more than overboard with groceries. The boys bought enough Belvedere Vodka to last a war, and the girls each wanted about 10 cans of spaghetti. Needless to say, we were undomesticated, a lot of food was wasted, and we all got a little bit fat.)
SAILING ON BOARD OUR YACHT – THE JEANNEAU 57 “BAGGY”
Do you have to know how to sail to go on a sailing holiday? We certainly didn’t, but some of the boys on my boat tried to learn over the course of our great getaway. A professional skipper handles that, among much else. Your job is not to sail, but to swim or suntan.
We picked a beautiful boat called the Jeanneau Baggy, run by THE PINK SHRIMP. It was 58.4 foot long, catered for 6 guests in three double cabins, and came with a young and strapping captain full of fine service – his half-British half-Japanese hospitality was like a button that was switched on every hour of our trip. He couldn’t have done it without the help of his co-captain, of course.
Don’t expect a villa-sized room on board any boat, for rooms are small and toilets are tight. Everything is squeaky clean, and your new home is a splendid suite of classy and cosy. Do note that our sailing yacht was fully air-conditioned, but not all boats have this.
Let me get real here and tell you that this is not a trip for everyone. If you get claustrophobic in smaller spaces and hate the idea of being out at sea, then this is not for you. However, you don’t have to be a daredevil to enjoy this special themed getaway – my friend Marlies gets seasick easily and she wore a seasick wristband from the beginning to the end of the trip. Not only was she never nauseous AT ALL, I never saw her stop smiling once.
I’m a bit of a hero when it comes to motion sickness, but the ocean got to me a bit on the third day as I was on the boat all day that day. I started to feel a rumbling in my tummy and my mood was extra cranky. I pulled Marlies’ wristband off her and put it on myself. I promise you – within merely minutes, the seasickness disappeared completely and I was back to my normal happy self. There is some serious magic in this band. If you sign up to go sailing, I highly advise you buy this.
FYI, The bigger your boat, the less it rocks so feel free to splurge on some stability!
THE SAIL SPIN EXPERIENCE AND PEOPLE
The experience is created for you, but making memories is your job to do!
Sailing is typically deduced to be a hobby for the rich or filthy rich, but this luxury is now pretty affordable for young pleasure seekers like us too. As long as you have a passport that allows you into Phuket, people of any ages are welcome. Join as one person, or pull more friends along. During my trip, the cosmopolitan crowd tended to average around working adults in their 20s-40s. I’m not going to lie, they weren’t an ugly bunch!
The best thing about The Sail Spin is that it is just so special – it’s boatloads better than a normal holiday in Phuket, and more fun than going sailing with just one group of friends. This is package tour group 2.0! Choose to holiday side by side with other sailors in the sunshine, and share a drink or a laugh over a beachside dinner in the moonlight.
Each yacht sails beside each other in the day, and join in the on-land island stops where activities like snorkelling, spa massages, cave kayaking, cliff diving, sailing or more can be done. Personally, there were not a lot of activities planned during my trip, but it was The Sail Spin’s first big trip and with our feedback, they have now beefed up the list of fun that can be done.
My favorite stop was when we docked near a little island (think it was named Chokdee island), and it allowed for few casual hours of mingling over lunch, playing pool, snorkelling, and ultimately an afternoon of pure relaxation. Who needs hammer time when it’s hammock time?
You are free to request a light customisation of your own itinerary, although the plan is to stick with the programme. Consult with your captain if you want to make an extra stop or a tiny detour… Don’t get lost though, Robinson Crusoe!
By sunset, the party options kick in and drinks on your yacht will definitely start flowing. A couple of people choose to stay in and enjoy the yacht, but most jump off the boat to enjoy a little evening bustle. Some nights, buffet barbecue dinners are orchestrated by the beach, but other nights are free and easy. Wander around the little shops, or grab a drink at one of the local bars with old friends and new friends. Phuket is one big general party, and everyone from The Sail Spin ended up at this dingy beach club called Slinky. (Expect cheap shots, rowdy tourists, hardcore locals and plenty of glowing in the dark.)
This awesome holiday saves the best for the last, and a final night boat party ensues. A DJ (did I mention the sailing trip usually includes one resident DJ?!) breaks out the beats on board while everyone else downs the remainder of their drinks, dancing on deck and singing along to the chorus when their favourite song comes on. The final party is a little surreal – you hold hands with your new best friends and look over the vast waters and islands in a distance, feeling ever so slightly afloat as you listen to the rise of the fall of the tempo.
Sleeping at night (if you should choose to) is not conducted in the middle of the open sea, but all yachts are safely docked either close to shore or inside hotel sea ports.
QUITE HONESTLY, BEST HOLIDAY EVER
Although I didn’t have a summer love nor meet my mer-man, every single person that I met on this trip made this trip better, and boy did we have a whirlwind of a sailing holiday together. It was such a new experience jet setting off to a luxe vacation in and around Andaman sea, spoiling myself with 5 days of refreshing mornings on my own personal yacht with my favourite friends, and catching up on reading, swimming, suntanning or plain ol’ conversations.
Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love being on a boat or just running away on a holiday. The feeling of being able to do both is completely enchanting, but rolling out of bed on a yacht and jumping into the perfect waters of Phuket to wake up is another dimension of deluxe.
This was, quite honestly, as of lately, my best holiday in Asia ever.
Feel free to email me at email@example.com for enquiries and bookings, or if you just want tell me how awesome my vacation pictures look!
THE SAIL SPIN is on Facebook: Say hello to them and see what the sailing fuss is about!
If you haven’t OD-ed on my pictures yet, dare yourself to browse through my full Sail Spin holiday album for extra envy.
This is a sponsored post for The Sail Spin.
EXTEND YOUR INDULGENCE – STAY AT INDOCHINE RESORTS, PHUKET
If you would like to extend your trip and unwind a little bit more in Phuket, I recommend staying at Indochine Resort where I was – they currently have a mega saver March promo on as well.
This resort is not in Patong itself, but rather scenically perched on the Patong hillside. Depending on what your personality is, this decision could be as good for you as it was for me and my friends. We enjoyed the proximity to Patong without having to live within it, for it is a crazy town that never sleeps. A 5-10 min shuttle or taxi from Indochine Resort will get you into the heart of the Patong action, while a 20 min walk for us to Patong was nice and breezy whenever we weren’t too hungry.
Only on offer until 31st March 2013, pamper yourself with a 3 day/2 night experience at the Oceanfront room. (I stayed in this very room during my stay – it’s named a hotel room but feels like a villa.)
Rates are based on 2 persons/per room and includes a day activities package, a daily international breakfast, dinner at their restaurant (the alfresco area is absolutely relaxing), 2-way airport transfers, and shuttle services at scheduled intervals.
Specially for bookings from Singapore – The full dates and details for this promotion can be found on the Indochine Group website.
It’s time to spoil yourself, people. Stay in a nice villa, go on an island holiday and take me with you!