Darling on deck: Kristin Ducote's guide to getting back to basics on board
by Kristin Ducote
Turn off the tech! Dock the toys! Getting back to basics can provide the perfect antidote to modern life, says Kristin Ducote...
Remember the days, not too long ago, when a yacht cruise meant a true escape from reality? No cell phones, no Wi-Fi, no surround sound speakers in every room. Thanks to today’s world of constantly evolving technology, it’s all too easy to board your yacht without escaping the hectic pace of everyday life. If only for one day, take a tech break during your next cruise. Let your brain decompress; let your adrenals relax. Your first attempt won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
You might be starting to sweat with anxiety as you read this. But yes, try turning off your phone. If necessary, let your captain screen your calls in case of an emergency, but in reality your constant communication with the world is less important than you think. Your reply can wait a day! Without your phone glued to your palm, you will find yourself connecting better with the other people on the boat, the people that matter most in your life.
Yes, this means no posting to Instagram, no updating your Facebook status, no reading political articles that raise your blood pressure. Let your mind ponder a question for a minute, rather than jumping onto Google for the immediate gratification of an easy answer. And no, you don’t need to post a photo of that beautiful dessert (your chef can recreate it) or even that spectacular sunset (the colours will be more vibrant in your memory). Just be in the moment and appreciate what’s in front of you.
No dock queens
Anchor out for some peace and quiet. There’s nothing better than a gently rocking boat to slip you into the sweetest sleep. Plan for a candlelit dinner on the top deck under the stars. Share a bottle of wine in the moonlight. Don’t let your family and guests retire to separate bedrooms to watch movies before bed. Save movies for the mainland and opt for a non-tech option like old-school Monopoly, Scrabble or even a simple deck of cards to entertain you.
Music may seem innocuous enough, but try going without it on your tech-free day. Read a book under a sun umbrella or book massages for your guests on the aft deck. Without the constant drone of music, your ears will grow sensitive to the smaller sounds on the water: the gentle lap of waves on the hull, the distant cry of seagulls, a sudden rush of wind. Reacquaint yourself with every manner of quiet sound and see how much your mind craves silence for a change.
No yacht toys
I’m all for today’s next generation, adrenaline-fuelled yacht toys like a hoverboard, Jetsurf, Seabob, Jetlev-Flyer or Seabreacher. They are fun for the whole family and will keep you entertained. But consider giving them a break during your tech-free day, and let your adrenals relax and unwind. Grab a paddleboard, go for a swim or a grounding walk on the beach with your toes in the sand. Commit to one completely peaceful day, and you’ll find those exciting toys even more of a rush the next time you use them.
Why you should try it
Technology isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s accelerating exponentially, and according to some neuroplasticity scholars it’s actually changing our brains. So take control and turn off your tech while you still can. A tech-free day will prove that you’re still in control of technology, not the other way around. Go ahead and power down. Like in that priceless Corona commercial, plop down your iPhone X to cover your beer when it starts to rain. It’s water resistant anyway!