Showing posts with label Tips and tricks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tips and tricks. Show all posts

Monday 17 October 2011

Ferry deck passenger tips

Travelling as a deck passenger on a ferry is one of the cheapest ways of travel. Many people try to avoid it because they are afraid it would be too uncomfortable and rent a cabin instead. I think everyone who tried camping before, should be just fine as a deck passenger.

Those on a tight budget have another option: "Airtype Economy Seats". Those seats look like airplane seats put in a large room (hence the name) - usually with air conditioning turned to maximum.
Those seats might seem quite comfortable at first, but trying to get a good night sleep in one of them is a whole different thing - usually they can not be put into a horizontal position. That is why I prefer to use my sleeping bag on the floor and travel as a deck passenger - it can be quite comfortable and is definitely the cheapest way of travelling long distances with a ferry.

However if you do not have a problem with the things mentioned and don't like the wind in your hair while sleeping on the open deck, those seats might be a very affordable option.

There are a few things you should keep in mind while traveling as a deck passenger on a ferry:

  • Try to board the ferry amongst the first to be able to reserve a good spot for spending the night. Keep in mind the sun, wind and engine noise.

  • Pack a sleeping bag to keep you warm during the night and a sleeping bag pad (those self inflatable ones are the best choice) for making the hard deck a bit softer.

  • A hammock can be a useful alternative to a sleeping bag pad. Keep in mind there are usually not many suitable places for tying it up on a ferry.

  • The crew will let you sleep on the floor of inside corridors in case of bad weather. Otherwise there are only a few places available inside - depends on crew tolerance.

  • It can get windy and cold even during summer months in the middle of the Mediterranean. Pack a windjacket or some other warm alternative.

  • Food and drinks on a ferry can be quite expensive for what you get. Buy at least some of your own supplies before boarding.

  • Pack something to keep you occupied during the trip (e.g. a good book, card or board games). Do not count on internet or mobile phone network connections.

  • If you are traveling as a large group, it might be smart to consider renting a small cabin together. You can all store your luggage there and use the shower and toilet if you feel the need.

Need another tip on how to get the lowest possible price for a cabin? Check out the link to one of my previous posts.


Monday 30 May 2011

How to pack a travel bag?

Everyone who has done his part of travelling knows a thing or two about packing. If nothing else - almost everyone hates it.
After some time, packing becomes a routine and is at least not as stressful anymore as the first couple of times.
I usually use travel checklists (there are a few useful examples on the link) for different types of trips. This saves me lots of time and lots of nerves.

Even with a checklist my travel bag or suitcase always seems to be just a bit too small.
This has become even more critical since all the low cost airlines started charging for every piece of luggage besides one piece of hand-luggage.

Sounds familiar? Are you also annoyed with this? Bear with me, there might be a way to make your life just a bit easier...

I found this guy on YouTube the other day and he really knows how to do his packing. Just lean back and enjoy the show!
I think we can all learn a thing or two from him.

There are a few universal pointers about packing, everyone should follow when boarding a plane:

  • pack your luggage more efficiently (see the above video for practical demonstration),

  • wear some clothes through the boarding gate ("onion philosophy"),

  • use the WC after the security check to fill an empty bottle with drinkable water (where this is possible).

If you have some additional tips or thoughts on the subject, feel free to comment. We can all learn from each other.


Monday 11 April 2011

What to cook on a sailing trip?

When we go sailing we take care of cooking by ourselves. Actually one of the crew members is usually chosen as Master Chef and the menu is then mostly up to him.

Our sailing crew-list usually consists of friends who know each other pretty well and are not too picky when food is concerned. This means the menu mostly consists of simple dishes, that do not require much preparation. Our scope is on other things... well, mostly it is drinking. This simply means we usually eat a lot of pasta and similar simple dishes.
However, if there is a chance for a gourmet pleasure, we don't think twice to take it.

When at sea there is a good chance you come across some tasty fish. Let us just say we got our hands on some really tasty fish this time, but more about that in my next post.

Well let me get back to those simple dishes... We usually don't have a problem with preparation and cleaning the dishes but I know quite a few that think even little cooking is too much cooking.

I have a two word tip for all the lazy chefs out there: Microwave Owen. Yes, that's right. A microwave oven usually isn't on the standard equipment list for various types of charter sailing boats. I guess that should not be a problem - you can always bring your own.
With a right list of microwave-ready dishes all of you lazy sailing chefs out there will have a bit easier time preparing food and more time for other activities.

Before you get too excited... there is actually a reason why they don't put microwave ovens on sailing boats as standard equipment. When at sea there is only 12V electric current available on board (standard 220V current is available only when plugged-in to an outside source). This can also be easily resolved - simply bring a 12V to 220V converter. Be careful that you do not empty the batteries completely (after the meal you might need to start the engine again).

As far as I am concerned, I vote for the good old-fashioned way. Chicken in creamy sauce, cooked au gratin and seasoned with some fresh picked Mediterranean rosemary looks extra-delicious on those photos, doesn't it?


Wednesday 10 September 2008

Improvised UV photo filter

Has it ever happened to you that you needed a UV photo filter, but it was nowhere to be found? Have you ever thought of some kind of improvisation? Well, I have...

It wasn't like I really needed an UV filter. This idea came more out of boredom then anything else. Yes, some of us can get bored even during a perfect sunset by the sea. I should probably mention that the perfect setting for this little experiment of mine was found on the Croatian island of Lošinj.
I guess I don't need to point out that M. wasn't too excited about this experiment of mine. I am pretty sure most of you have already heard a variation of the "big boys and their expensive toys" monologue.

So what do you think of the first photo? It seems like I found that photo filter after all. And I did - it was sitting on my nose all the time. It is a special photo filter, usually called... sun glasses.

It took me a couple of tries but in the end I was quite pleased with the result.
Try it yourself sometime. I am sure you can come up with some interesting results.


Monday 23 June 2008

Rain drops in the garden

You don't need to travel to a far away country to take photos like these. A stroll around your garden or a nearby park will do just fine.

You will have the best chance of taking nice photos if you catch the morning dew, before it vanishes back into the air. Usually also the light is just right at that time of day.

If you are not one of those early birds and have never seen the morning dew before, you might also wait for some rain.
That is just what I did. I waited inside until it stopped raining and then went photo-hunting in the garden. Sun came out from behind a cloud just at the right time.

If you live in a place where you could get really old waiting for rain, you can also use some water to create your own rain. All you have to do is sprinkle it on a leaf and create a perfect composition. I know some photographers do it with spiderwebs and get stunning results. I have to try that someday.

When you find a proper motive, you just need a photo camera with a macro mode (usually marked with a flower) and some patience. I believe anyone can do it.

For the best result I suggest that you take some extra photos. Usually it is hard to see if everything is the way you wanted from your camera display. I suggest you pick out the really sharp photos later on your computer.

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