A Sailing Holiday is the Ultimate Digital Detox

If you're in need of digital detox, here's why a sailing holiday is a perfect remedy!

January 10th, 2019


Sailing in Loch Coruisk, in the Isle of Skye

It’s 2019 and many of us have made New Year’s resolutions to get fitter, happier, more productive — or perhaps even less productive, putting more emphasis on mindfulness or relaxation. In recent years, after the advent of social media and smart phones, a common New Year’s resolution is to spend much less time looking at our phones or on social media in general. Technology has completely changed our lives — it has streamlined our communications and revolutionised the way we consume media — but many people feel frustrated or beholden to their phones and they yearn for a few hours, or a few days, away from the emails, WhatsApp messages, and Facebook notifications. Of course, we’re more than a little obsessed with sailing here at Flamingo Yacht Charters, and we think that a sailing holiday is the ultimate digital detox experience, and we’d like to take a few minutes of your time to convince you.

Sailing Demands Your Attention

If you’re truly looking for a digital detox experience, you will no doubt avoid using your phone, tablet, and computer, but you will begin to crave them after a while, as boredom sets in. Most social media activity, for example, occurs in the morning and afternoon rush hours, as commuters on trains and buses use their phones to help alleviate the boredom of doing the same journey every day and not having much to do as they sit in a carriage full of strangers. Boredom will always encourage people to look at their phones and boredom will make any digital detox extremely challenging. This is why sailing is the perfect activity: it’s almost impossible to be bored when an activity demands all of your attention and is incredibly fun.

Sailing is a lot of fun, but that’s not enough to make it the perfect activity for anyone looking for a digital detox. It’s also challenging, and this challenge asks enough of your attention that you simply don’t have time to get out your phone to scroll through Facebook. When sailing, there’s always something to do to gain more speed or change direction. The process of sailing, of adjusting the mainsheet, reacting to changing varying winds, or going about (turning into through the wind), is challenging enough that most people simply won’t have enough downtime to even think about their phones! You’ll also be scared that you could lose your precious gadget over the side of the boat if you fiddle with it too much!

Sailing Requires Good Communication

Anyone who’s ever sailed a larger yacht will already know how important good communication is. The larger the vessel, the bigger your crew needs to be to sail it effectively. It’s important to note that all sailing with two or more people requires excellent communication, as multiple people work together towards a common goal. Usually this involves following the skipper’s orders. However you choose to organise your sailing efforts, you need to give as much attention to your fellow sailors as you do to the yacht. So, good communication is, in effect, an extension of the first point; that sailing demands your complete attention. If you look at your phone, then you’re not listening to the skipper or other members of the crew and your sailing performance will suffer.

But There is also a sense of togetherness and camaraderie that comes with this level of communication that will make you not want to let your fellow crew members down. You will be more tuned in to what they want and to how your whole team is working. So, it’s not just that good communication is required when sailing any larger yacht, it’s also the case that you will want to communicate better. You will want to play your part. And that feeling of working as a team is an incredible feeling!

Enjoying Being Out in the Scottish Coastline

The cliffs of Neist Point, on the Isle of Skye

Of course, while sailing is immersive enough to hold your attention most of the time, there are smoother, slower, easier moments where you could take out your phone and scroll through your emails (if you have signal in remote parts of Scotland, that is), but that’s where the incredible Scottish coastline comes into play. Scotland has one of the most beloved coasts in the world; its ragged edges and plethora of islands make it the perfect place to sail.

Guillemots on the Isle of May

Other than using your phone to take photographs, we think there is just something so quintessentially beautiful and captivating about the Scottish coastline that you won’t want to be on your smartphone. In fact, we recommend that you avoid sharing your trip on social media until after you’ve finished for the day; the best way to do this is to use a digital camera to take any photographs you want, while also leaving your mobile phone below deck. This way, you won’t be tempted to reach for your phone and immediately share something you’ve seen (and, trust us, you will see plenty of incredible things). If you’d like a better idea of what you can expect to find on the Scottish coast, read our West Coast of Scotland sailing area page. You can expect stunning landscapes and seascapes, and innumerable types of wildlife to admire, including incredible marine mammals, such as grey seals, minke whales, and bottlenose dolphins. You will also see charming seabirds, such as gannets, guillemots, and puffins.

Mindfulness and Sailing

The term mindfulness is everywhere these days, as more and more people see its benefits. Mindfulness encompasses a lot of things, but it is, essentially, an effort to be more present and deliberate in your thoughts and actions. There are lots of arguments for mindfulness, but we won’t get into them here, as we don’t have time. We will say that mindfulness is most certainly a reaction to the busy, overly distracting modern lifestyles, and that digital technology — especially smart phones — is the main offender. Smartphones are amazing and they allow us to do so much, but we’re not quite used to rationing how much time we give to them.

Mindfulness is centred around the idea that we are happier and more peaceful when we focus on the things we’re doing. As we’ve explained throughout this blog post, sailing can demand a lot of your attention, forcing you to be mindful even if it isn’t your natural inclination. After a few days of sailing, of being mindful, our minds get used to the change and, hopefully, we’re not reaching for our phones quite as often once we get back to dry land!

We hope this blog has inspired a few readers to take a sailing holiday this year. Sailing really is the ultimate digital detox and there’s no better sailing location in the world than Scotland’s stunning coastline. If you have any questions about chartering our yachts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!