A freelance writer and bargain hunter with wanderlust, recently moved to Perth from Brisbane.
Published November 27th 2016
Feel the fresh wind on your face on Wind Dancer
Ahoy, sailor! Imagine the fresh wind whipping through your face as you embrace the challenge of navigating your way on the open seas. You can try your hand at racing the other nearby yachts, pretending you are part of the America's Cup. Or just sit back, work on a tan and relax as you relish the feeling of being a millionaire as you cruise through the waters on a luxurious boat for the day.
Relaxing on the Wind Dancer
I embarked on the challenge of doing both (learning to sail and relaxing on the yacht) from Hillary's Boat Harbour on the luxurious Wind Dancer on a beautiful Sunday morning – perfect for learning new skills and also enjoying the Western Australian coast in style.
We were warmly greeted by Tony, a friendly veteran sailor who has been sailing since he was 14 years old on small and large yachts throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, Pacific, Caribbean and across South East Asia and New Zealand. In fact, Tony can even marry you on board if you so wish!
Knowledgeable and fully qualified, he and his crew provide interesting anecdotes on sailing, nautical terms and individual attention. If you are curious about the other boats docked along the harbour along with their owners, Tony is the man to ask – he seems to know everyone.
Try your hand at the helm
If you would like to try your hand at sailing or if you already have the basic skills and would like a refresher, Wind Dancer yacht charters can teach you how to sail or prepare you for bare-boat charters interstate and overseas.
Tony has converted and inspired a few sailing newbies in his day – so much so that they have either joined his crew, gone on round the world sailing trips or bought their own yachts. We were joined on the yacht by Georgia and Tony, two such converts who started out on a first-time trip and loved it so much, they now assist on sailing trips and never looked back. They are both approachable and personable, a testament to the friendly culture on Wind Dancer.
Wind Dancer is fully equipped with all the required safety equipment – we were shown a safety briefing as well as a map of where we would be heading to that morning before we left the dock and I felt comfortable knowing that I was well-taken care off with life jackets, sunscreen and water available on board. If you would like to try a hand at sailing to overcome your fear of the water and boats, Wind Dancer and its crew is a great place to do it and it is perfectly safe for kids. Even when Georgia shimmied gracefully up the mast, we were provided with an explanation of the equipment available to ensure her safety.
Rather than learning to sail from a yacht club, Wind Dancer lets you learn in a relaxed environment where you set your own curriculum and all learning is hands-on instead of in a classroom. You can skipper the boat or work as an active member of the crew during your trip – your involvement is tailored to your individual circumstances and you can do as much or as little as you like. I tried my hand behind the wheel – it took a while to get used to but Tony made it easier with simple explanations and it dawned on me that if I (clumsy at the best of times) can do it, anyone can learn how to sail.
The purpose-built commercial Challenger 39' yacht is comfortable and luxurious and it is capable of cruising the world. Tony has previously sailed it to Indonesia. If you like your own privacy and would love to pretend that you're a millionaire for a day with your own yacht, Wind Dancer is available for one-day charters with the security of a fully qualified skipper and crew with a maximum of 12 passengers.
If one day is not enough, Wind Dancer has a 7 day adventure and winery cruise where you can sail to the Margaret River Region with a licensed crew, combined with a range of activities and a tour of Margaret River's award-winning wineries.
Wind Dancer runs regular departures to Rottnest Island as well. You can even sleep on the boat if you would like to with overnight charter in a beautiful bay at Rottnest Island. If time is limited, half day charters are also available with morning cruises, dolphin spotting activities, humpback whale watching and stunning twilight cruises. The whale watching season is from September to December but you may spot dolphins, sea lions and other wildlife throughout the year. We managed to spot a flying fish on this occasion.
If you have a social club function or corporate function, Wind Dancer has an exciting range of activities. If being out in the water is not enough entertainment, you can even incorporate their Treasure Hunts into the day's activities.
At the end of the day, we were treated to beautiful photos that Georgia had taken throughout the day – a great keepsake of the awesome memories we made. Wind Dancer is currently running a summer special where a learn to sail half day lesson costs $70 per person instead of $140. This could be a great Christmas or birthday gift for someone special. You could even inspire a young person to be the next Jessica Watson, the youngest person to sail solo around the world!
If sailing is not your thing, a coastal cruise is also available for $70 per person or sail your way to Rottnest Island for $85 per person (usually $145) with discounts available for group bookings. It is a minimum 3 hour sail each way to Rottnest Island with lunch provided on board and the possibility of snorkelling, swimming and exploring the island (time dependent).
For individual or group bookings or if you would like to discuss your special requirements or tailor your trip, call Tony on 08 94482496 or 041 241 6886. You can also visit their website on winddanceryachtcharters.com.au/ to contact Tony or read more about the yacht and their services available. They will happily organise transport from all major Perth hotels or pick up from the local train station.