Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

‘But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of ocean.’

H.P. Lovecraft: “The White Ship”, 1919

Sometimes blogs, like life, meander off in a direction quite different from the original intended destination. This week we focus on that wonderful part of the Waterfront Charters experience, the Add-on extras that can make a Waterfront Charters cruise even more personalised, not to mention spectacular. As we delved into these options, the path wandered away, and we ended up in some places that were quite intriguing. The special additions can be found – no surprises here – under the ‘Add-ons’ heading in the main menu, and before we follow that wandering path of exploration that led to interesting revelations, let’s take a look at what’s on offer to make your private charter a unique event…

Firstly, our partnered attractions are a wonderful way of adding a unique aspect to your cruise. Book a marine expert for your cruise, and not only hear about the marvels of ocean life, but see it through underwater cameras. It’s a whole new level of understanding of the magic of the seas. But then again, you might be in a party mood, given the time of year – in that case a top DJ is on the cards for your offshore bash. Nothing makes for a great party mood better than sounds, and our DJ’s are the tops in the business.

And of course – there is the grub! An ocean cruise builds an appetite, and you are going to want only the best victuals to feed the hungry, happy, throng. Our add-on menus are designed to give you the perfect choice of meals to suit any occasion. If you like (and why not?) we can add an onboard chef and serving hands to ensure that you have nothing to do except enjoy the special event. Finally, why not give your guests a reminder of the joyful hours they spent on our luxurious boat: give them each a Waterfront Charters Crew T-shirt to don to impress their friends! Hardwearing and very affordable, they make ideal gifts for youngsters as well.

When you book your private charter, either online or through our office, remember that we are available to give advice and ideas on add-ons for any occasion; after all, it’s what we do, and after thirty years’ experience we are getting pretty good at it. We enjoy the charters as much as our guests do, and are extremely flexible in our planning opportunities.

Now, that research meander… I wondered if there was anything quirky about the phrase ‘add-on’ and discovered that there was actually a character in the Hebrew Biblical canon called – Addon. He’d have made a great building contractor, but sadly, after release from captivity he was understandably more concerned with tracing his genealogy. He wasn’t successful; the etymology of his interesting moniker remains unknown. Addon’s equation was insoluble, I guess. This led me to ‘extras’, being a rather obvious synonym for add-ons, and here we plunged straight back into the nautical world. (If I’m perfectly honest, I rather thought that this was were we were going, but was more than happy to follow the stream.)

Extras, or an ‘extra’ to be more accurate, is a sail that is not a normal part of a sailing vessels normal sail plan. Yachties will recognise the obvious suspects here; the spinnaker, studding sails, a spanker (nothing to do with corporal punishment, even in those painful days of the cat o’ nine tails: it’s a fore-and-aft sail set from the stern mast, and is the origin of the phrase ‘setting a spanking pace’), some staysails and some topsails. In the wonderful days of tall ships, extra sails were carried by skippers depending on potential weather and wind conditions, obviously wanting to make the best speed possible for their cargos and passengers. But in the modern day of sail, and specifically sporting yacht racing, ‘extra sails’ are very carefully regulated by division. A race in which extras are not permitted is known as a ‘non-spinnaker’ or ‘no flying sails’ division. For those who just want to mess about in boats, you can carry as many extras as you like, or your mast (or masts) can carry. Overloading a sailing boat with sail can be as dangerous as not being underway in certain conditions, and amateurs are advised to consult with Old Salts before attempting any speed-sailing endeavours.

Our Waterfront Charters sailing vessels ‘sail plans’ are by the book; both our luxurious single-masted catamaran and exciting twin-masted schooner carry the recommended sails; our aim in life is to provide the best possible sailing experience for all who board them – and as Old Salts, we know that safety is paramount.

So: from add-ons to sail plans, you can be assured that Waterfront Charters will offer you nothing less than the perfect sailing experience; safety, expertise, unique qualities and large doses of fun – all in all the perfect way to enjoy either one of our scheduled cruises or your own, special, chartered adventure.