November 17, 2016 at 5:43 pm EST | by Kevin Majoros
Trekr Adventures offers laid-back cruises to exotic locales
Trekr Adventure, gay news, Washington Blades

Patrick Butler on a recent Trekr Adventure. (photo courtesy Trekr Adventures)

Imagine yourself jetting over to Greece or Thailand or Croatia. Your airport taxi drops you off at a marina where you board a sailboat which by all rights, should be referred to as a yacht.

After sailing for hours, the skipper anchors and you meet up with travelers from multiple sailboats for a bonfire or cookout. The next day after more sailing, you find yourself kayaking around caves in crystal blue water. Later that day after scootering through ancient ruins, you could probably fit in a wine-tasting before heading back to the sailboat.

And so each day continues. You didn’t plan any of it. Even the things you packed in your bag came from a list supplied to you by your hosts.

Trekr Adventures has created an operation focused on adventure travel for the LGBT community. Based in D.C., its most recent trip was to Croatia and 65 people enjoyed a week of adventures in six catamaran sailboats. The typical sailboat is a 50-foot catamaran with four bedrooms, air conditioning, a skipper, internet, a full kitchen and a grill.

In an effort to make the trip more intimate, there are events in the months leading up to the departure so you can meet the other people who will be going on the adventure with you.

Oh, so you don’t feel like exploring military bunkers or rappelling or skydiving or swimming with sharks? OK. Instead, you can try some cooking lessons, go to wine-tastings or just hang out on the boat. The adventure is yours and the choice is yours.

“There have definitely been times where spur of the moment, we have docked and anchored, cooked dinner and created our own ecosystem,” says co-founder Josh Seefried. “You can pick and choose what you want to do. That includes whether you participate in any of the skipper duties on the sailboat.”

Coming up in 2017, Trekr is offering adventures to the Abacos islands in the Bahamas, Greece (twice) and Thailand. A land excursion is also planned for Cambodia and Vietnam.

With so many paths to take during the sailing trips, it isn’t uncommon for the boats to separate and have their own adventure for a few hours away from the rest of the group.

“Each night, all the boats gather at a rally point for our night-time activities,” Seefried says. “During the day sail, the boats usually stick together, but sometimes they sail off to do their own thing. We are never in a rush.”

Patrick Butler used to be in a rush all of the time. He was living in Philadelphia and working in D.C for his job with Amtrak.

“The commute was crazy,” he says.

He finally moved to the District earlier this year and he has already notched trips to Thailand and Croatia with Trekr. He is booked for Abacos and Greece in 2017 and says these are not “individual” trips as you interact with all the travelers throughout the week.

“The experience is framed around a group of friends and acquaintances going on a trip together,” Butler says. “Most of the travelers are from D.C., so the conversation continues when you get home.”

A former sailor in high school, Butler has enjoyed getting back into sailing and the fact that everything on the trip is laid out for you.

“I would not be booking a sailboat by myself in Croatia,” Butler says. “Trekr offers a good mix of all the different sides of going on a vacation.”

Butler himself can sometimes been found relaxing on the boat, going to wine tastings or participating in the Trekr tradition of releasing Chinese lanterns. Other times he joins in on things like the bar excursions, tours through military bunkers and Muslim villages, canyoning, scuba diving or kayaking.

“Trekr makes it so easy just to show up in a country you know nothing about,” Butler says. “It’s really comforting to know that you are booking an experience that someone else has thoughtfully planned for you.”

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