As winter sets in, we take three recommendations from Latesail on unusual destinations where we can raise anchor, unfurl our sails and embark on an ocean voyage in 2017…

Remember the days that were spent frolicking at the beach, barbecuing and basking in the seemingly infinite sunlight? Seems like a far-off time doesn’t it? If you’ve been bitten by the nostalgia bug and want to set sail to far off waters why not charter a bareboat and sail away from those winter blues? In today’s age of modern and cheap travel (relatively speaking), you can vacation in just about any destination that your whim deems fit. And with the logistics taken care of, the only question that still stands is where to venture to. Instead of taking the standard trip via a gargantuan cruise ship to a country that you’ll step foot in for a few moments, snap a selfie, and then depart, why not do something more authentic and charter a bareboat and sail to a more obscure destination? Here are three unusual destinations where you can charter a boat this winter.

La Paz, Mexico

No doubt one of your friends has recently come back from Cancun, tan and sated from the all you can eat buffets and glorified sunlight. They’ll probably go on and on about how amazing the country is without ever having experienced a spec of authenticity. You on the other hand are thinking of raising the mainsail and shipping off to the capital of Southern Baja. In La Paz – Spanish for “the peace” – you’ll sail alongside over 4,000 grey whales that have made their way from the Bering Strait to the coast of Baja where they’ll give birth to their calves. To get the most out of the biodiversity of the Gulf of California, cruise on by Isla Espiritu. The island is home to a vast array of marine and land-based wildlife and has some of the most unique naturally formed structures you’ll find on your trip to Mexico. The island is an adventurous traveller’s dream. Not to mention that if you do stop by the island you’ll be walking in the footsteps of inhabitants who lived on the island as far back as 40,000 years.

Sunset in the Sea of Cortez. By: fredsharples

Malta

This small Mediterranean based country is an ideal sailing destination. As a country comprised of only 316 square kilometres and three islets you’ll easily be able to sail to any destination on the island. Its easy accessibility paired with the fact that the majority of the country’s 450,000 residents speak English will make sailing around Malta an easy and enjoyable endeavour. As you embark on your exploration be sure to stop at the island of Gozo. The island has been ruled by everyone from the Phoenicians, to the Arabs, to the British. Its most prized possession is the Neolithic Ggantija Temple ruins. To witness one of the most spectacular sites you’ll ever see you’ll have to take a jaunt around the city’s 17th century citadel that is largely still in-tact. Oh, and did we mention that Daenery and Khal Drogo were married in Gozo?

Sailing in wonderful Malta. By: Magnus Bråth

New Zealand

NZL doesn’t immediately come to mind when thinking of warm sailing destinations. But as we so conveniently forget, northern and southern hemisphere countries have opposite seasonal patterns. This means that winter in the northern hemisphere means that it’s summer in the south. Though it has a similar land mass to GB and Japan it has a mere four million inhabitants. This means that the country is lush with greenery and natural scenery. NZL came to the forefront of vacationers’ minds after learning that the Lord of the Rings series was filmed on this aesthetically pleasing island. More than 150 locations on the island were used in the filming of the LOTR and the Hobbit series. You can experience Middle Earth first hand by taking part in one of the many tours the country offers. NZL beckons nature lovers with the opportunity to spelunk, hike remarkable terrain, and explore pristine waters.

Mapoutahi Pa in New Zealand. By: Alistair Paterson

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