|. Books on sailing
1. The 8 Sailing Books, HW Tilman.
2. Sailing Alone Around the World, J. Slocum
3. Ocean Passages for the World, UK Admiralty
4. The Mirror of the Sea, J. Conrad
5. Wrinkles in Practical Navigation, STS Lecky
6. Heavy Weather Sailing, W. Adlard Coles
7. The wisdom of the sea B. Larsen
8. Glenan's Sailing Course
9. The Long Route, B. Moitessier
10. On the Sea, H. Belloc
|Top 10 music for sailboats:
. Like a Hurricane - Neil Young
. Moonlight Shadow - Mike Oldfield
. Turn the page - Bob Seger
. Sailing - Rod Steward
. Carnival - Natalie Merchant
. Against the Wind - Bob Seger
. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
. El Muelle de San Blas - Manà
. The Hurricane - Bob Dylan
. Sail Away - David Gray
. Learning to Fly - Tom Petty
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Every journey we organize is tailored upon our guests' requirements. This means that we devote a long time understanding your desires and preferences before suggesting a certain destination and itinerary. We have personal local knowledge of each and every one of them. Every place has its own peculiarities and characteristics: while Provence is sophisticated and elegant, the Ionian Islands of Greece are wild and rural; adventurous souls will find challenge in Patagonia or Burma, while relaxed folks might prefer the pace of Croatia. To each his own. A private itinerary is our local knowledge of the places combined with what we know about you. Obviously, this cannot be done automatically on the internet, but requires a somewhat slow process of mutual understanding. There is no alternative to this. This is the way things must be done. A private itinerary on a private boat, and your private journey will be perfect. All our voyages leave a very low carbon footprint. If you do not know yet what to expect from a sailboat voyage, feel free to get some inspiration from the following clues.
. why on a boat...
. choose the perfect vessel and crew;
. where to sail;
. the ultimate top ten of the best places to visit on a boat before turning to golf;
. the most beautiful islands on the planet;
. the special top ten of the places to avoid;
. basic boat etiquette
. visit our page about safety at sea
Before we begin: safety first, the captain is always responsible in front of the sea and the law, respect his responsibility.
. Why on a boat?
Sea means adventure and romance. If you are looking for idle days under a scorching sun, a steady horizon and an exceedingly cumbersome and numerous companies, you ended in the wrong website. It’s a question of style: we try to reward our guests with a unique and personal approach to sea life, help them to discover the world as it is, with its culture, its landscapes, its traditions and especially its people. The vessels we selected sail all over the planet from the Mediterranean to Patagonia, from Thailand to Antarctica, from the Caribbean to Brazil. Our Captains might be officially Swiss, English, Italians, Slovenians or French, but they are basically citizens of the Sea, and try to share with their guests their unique relationship with the Sea. It’s not a point of technique, but it’s essentially an attitude. With his experience, responsibility and authority the Captain is at the same time the king and the slave of his territory. This peculiar blend instinct and reason makes them interesting and sometimes unusual characters. But all will be able to welcome the guest to the realm of sea life. Therefore, while you won’t be surprised to the fact that all of them are actually able to repair a pump or bleed a diesel engine, you might sometimes wonder why they will try to avoid starting a crossing on a Friday, and they will pale at the sight of someone lighting a cigarette with a candle. Why? It looks like it comes from the old days of whaling, when sailors used to stay away for months, sometimes for years. Their wives used to keep a candle burning by a window, possibly as a vow, probably a signal meaning ‘stay away, my man is at sea, respect my longing’. The candle was put off only at the arrival either of the sailor, or of the dreadfullest of the news.
So Armstrong Global and its crews welcome you to the sea. To its laws, its ways, its culture and its heritage. Please respect it.
A boat is not only an uncommonly romantic way to travel. It’s also the best. It’s flexible, ecological (under sail), comfortable and instructive. Nothing beats the sensation one feels when reaching a new harbour or a new coast by sea. Even if one has already visited a certain place, say San Francisco, the sensations one gets sailing in under the Golden Gate Bridge makes it a lot different.
Because on a boat you are not a tourist, but a traveller.
To each his own cruise
Every sailor or traveller deserves his perfect cruise. Some already know what they look for, others approach this wonderful way of discovering the planet for the first time and have different requirements. Our mission is to organize personally to each of them the perfect kind of cruise.
a. What is your style?
Independent: choose your boat and your cruising grounds, and then have fun. Ag finds you the perfect boat and helps you to weather the gales of paperwork, languages, contracts and tricks all over the world. Click on the bareboat page and help yourself. Do not forget that we do not charge you a penny for this service
Easy: if you are tired of responsibilities, do not to worry too much about the boat and enjoy your holidays, choose to sail with a skipper. Ag is associated with various competent skippers anywhere. Choose your perfect vessel in the bareboat pages and contact us so that we can find a perfect chap to sail you around.
Comfort lover: are you sure you want to loose precious holiday hours shopping, cooking, washing the dishes, choosing wines, hoist the sails and so on? Then choose a complete Armstrong Global cruise. Hand picked crews, owner version boats, and perfect service. Share their love, their passion and their respect for the sea and its traditions, the quality of their cuisine, and the knowledge of the cruising grounds. Visit our Ag cruises page and choose your favourite style.
Luxury: the best vessels around in their category, impeccable style, gourmet cuisine, professional crews, private apartments, a complete range of services. Excellence afloat.
We are personally convinced that the choice of a destination depends on the style. The sea is the same everywhere, what changes are the coasts, the climate and the life ashore. We also firmly believe that a consultant should know personally the areas where he invites his guests to.
We have the ‘local knowledge’ for the areas we claim we specialize into, as you can see in our sailing directions, all of which come from our personal experience, that starts from Alaskan Fjords and ends in the smallest Croatian coves. With nearly everything in between. That’s why we can suggest each style his perfect destination.
. Thrill seekers: we suggest you to avoid the Med in summer and search for thrill in faraway seas, such as Patagonia or Antarctica. Yes, there are indeed small sailboats cruising there. But keep in mind that you will rarely get out of your thermal underwear and sometimes you’ll spend some of your holiday time chipping the ice off the shrouds. Still, this MUST be done sometimes.
. Adventurous: if you search for winds and seas, you might find it funny to sail close-hauled against the Meltemi in the Cyclades, in August. Then in spring you can challenge the Mistral (metaphorically) in Provence, Corsica and Sardinia. Winter in the Mediterranean is an endless source of surprises, with stunning beauty and no one around to enjoy it. The Aeolian is an archipelago where you can cruise all year round, keeping in mind that there are no harbours around. ‘A harbour in Stromboli? Why? Why loosing that unique feeling you experience every time you walk back to the beach at night and you wonder if your boat will still be there or not?’
The Caribbean offer wind (steady) aplenty, but please avoid the hurricane season because adventure does not mean folly. While other destinations, like Thailand, the Seychelles, Brazil and Alaska, still provide the sensation you are exploring.
. Nature lovers: the most curious will love to follow Darwin’s footsteps and cruise around the wonderful Galapagos Islands or follow the thrill seekers in higher latitudes. The Caribbean and the Pacific we’ll leave to the exotic lovers because better satisfactions, and gastronomically more intriguing as well, can be achieved in the Mediterranean, where Corsica; Croatia, Sardinia and Sicily provide endless stimulations and stunning wilderness in a more civilized contest. Active volcanoes, fine sandy beaches, impressive red cliffs and turquoise waters go unseen by unhappy stomachs.
. Gourmet: if you love to eat, and do not simply eat to live, some destinations are compulsory. While it is difficult to oversee the Patagonian crabs, the Alaskan salmon and the New England lobsters with impunity, non one will ever convince me that there are better gourmet destinations than the Med. The quality is number one, the variety impressive and the passion unbeatable. Sicily and the Aeolian for fish, Corsica and France for beef, the Riviera for excellence and so on…
. Jet set lovers know that a certain spot can be frequently mentioned in the gossip columns one year and disappear the next. Still, some places are always there. Considering that Mustique is mostly off limits, and only Americans go to St.Barts, again most places where you want to be seen are in the Med. Notably: Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo, St. Tropez, Panarea, Capri, Cannes, Portofino and Formentera. Needless to say that one MUST get there by boat, but keep in mind that a berth in these places is around 120 euros a day for a 40 footer…
. Basic etiquette
It’s always a heartening experience to observe vessel knowing some basic rules (there is no order of importance.
. channel 16 must be used for emergencies only. If you want to know where John will dine tonight, use the cell phone;
. keep in mind the old LLL rule: log, lead, lookout.
. to moor is a manoeuvre, not an occasion to practice the vocal cords;
. the anchor does not work as a magnet, but a certain amount of chain should follow it;
. if your anchor does not hold, it’s you who have to move;
. sailboats have the right of way when on a collision course with a powerboat, unless these are limited in their manoeuvring of in the captain faculties.
. to roar too close to other boats is not cool, really;
. speed limits in harbours is 3 knots, please explain so to the ferry ‘captains’ (read morons) in Capri as well;
. the barometer (or glass) is not a clock, and therefore must not be winded, but should be consulted with the same constancy;
. discos, and not tranquil coves, are for dancing;
. men found their way to the Moon, still are lost while looking for a bin;
. in small coves it’s good measure and education to use a line ashore;
. I understand that there is a lot of stuff on a sailboat in front of the helm, still some effort should be exercised in peering through it;
. eyes are the best instruments to find rocks, certainly better than keels;
. those poor devils running around the deck to move the boat have the right of way to those who are sunbathing;
. jet skis are evil; as far as we are concerned the life vest should not be compulsory on them;
. boats are hard and might hurt who is swimming underneath. Props are even more disturbing. Lookout when approaching the coast;
. to ask for advice is not uncool.
The top ten list of places to sail before turning to golf
. 1 Stromboli: swordfish rolls and sailing at night under an active volcano;
. 2 humpbacks, salmons, beer and glaciers in Alaska’s Glacier Bay NP;
. 3 French Polynesia, but with a skipper who knows where reefs are and having well in mind that a beer cost an arm;
. 4 the Saleccia beach, N Corsica;
. 5 the Kornati archipelago, especially if you do not like trees;
. 6 Phuket, Andaman Island and vicinities, but let go in at least 10 metres in case of Tsunamis;
. 7 the San Juan islands between Seattle and Vancouver;
. 8 the Isla Grande archipelago, near Rio, Brazil;
. 9 South Georgia (Google it and marvel);
. 10 Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge or the Harbour Bridge.
The most beautiful islands on the planet:
1. Stromboli (Sicily)
2. Chichagoff Island (Ak)
3. Socorro (Mexico)
4. Darwin Is., (Galapagos, Ecuador)
5. Staten Island (Patagonia)
6. Kornat (Croatia)
7. Lavezzi (France)
8. Easter Island (Chile)
9. Fayal (Azores, Portugal)
10. Moorea (French Polynesia)
The top ten list of places to avoid.
. 1 The outer dock at Capri Marina, at least until some coast guard official will put the ferry captains where they belong, the slammer;
. 2 the whole category of the illegal mooring men in southern Italy
. 3 The ‘Guardia di Finanza’
. 4 The Strait of LeMaire
. 5 Water taps in the Aeolian in August
. 6 The Caribbean at Christmas
. 7 The gulf of Lion and the Bonifacio Strait with the Mistral
. 8 The Quaerner with the Bora
. 9 The Aegean in August when NE-bound
. 10 The Gulf of Aden
What to bring
Let’s begin to state that whole you are ashore you are welcome to dress the way you prefer, even attempt cross dressing, as long as you do not show any hint that you come from a certain boat. The same in your sacred cabin. But apart from these places let’s bear in mind that etiquette, without reaching the point of eating grapes using forks and knives like those poor devils on the three masted shoolships, is not only a duty, but can also be a pleasure, a way of sharing the culture of the sea. So please dress properly.
As for the practicalities, forget rigid suitcases, and excessive baggage that you already know you won’t use. Bring deck (or soft) shoes, T-shirts, comfortable shorts and trousers, a light jersey for the evenings, personal toiletries. All AG cruises vessels provide beddings, towels and all what you might find in a hotel with a pharmacy inside. Bareboat usually come with bedding only and do not expect to find china on them. Then sunglasses, a cap for the sun, UV protection stuff, personal medicines, a torch, a small piece of line for multiple uses, pens and notebooks, film and cameras. It will never be overstress that most ‘cool gadgets’ for America’s cup style sailors, such as gloves (aaarrgghh), foul weather NASA stuff, knives with 456 functions and other expensive stuff, are useful in rare cases, and quite never in the Mediterranean in summer. Contact us for details.
On the other side, something that you must NOT forget, are books. A boat is certainly the best place to enjoy a good book. So we also decided to give a word of advice, as you can see in this page.