La transat : Conseils aux équipiers par un équipier Richard sur le site iSealife

Page en Anglais pour respecter les sources. C'est vrai il y en assez des règles des lois, des droits du capitaine, et les equipiers alors?

Le grain de sel du capitaine: Il n'y a aucune contradiction entre les deux. Bon, beaucoup d'équipements sont disponibles à bord, mais les équipers sont libres, s'ils préfèrent dormir dans leur sacs, avoir leur friandises persos, dans la limite de la place disponible à bord. 

Going Trans-Oceanic? That means 2 - 4 (or more) weeks at sea!

Assuming the yacht is well founded and you're prepared for an ocean voyage, here are some suggestions (and thoughts) that may fit in your sea bag if you haven't already made a checklist:

Personal Gear: PFD c/w "pea-less" whistle and strobe light, best available/affordable high seas jacket and bib-pants (Helly Hansen, etc.), sea-boots, gloves, cowl, several peaked caps (you'll lose one), ski goggles (handy protection in heavy rain/hail), synthetic fleece vest/shirt/jacket/pants, "Tilly"-type, quick wash/dry underwear. Sleeping bag, knowing it will get foul and wet.

Large "zip-lock" baggies to keep underwear, sox, etc., dry. Water-proof bag for valuables (wallet, passport, etc.)…your own "ditch bag".

"WalkMan" & discs, reading material and journal. All should fit in one, soft, sea bag. Bring a small day pack or belly pouch for shore excursions.

Self Quartermastering: Individual packages of instant oatmeal, hot chocolate, soups and juice crystals. S/S thermos bottle. Ginger snap cookies & ginger candies, known for anti-seasickness qualities.

Personal Medic Kit: Sea Sick pills/potion, good medi-scissors, tweezers and magnifying glass, hot/cold compress, butterfly bandages, elastoplasts roll, lip balm, skin lotion, after-shower talcum mixture, topical anaesthetic pads.

 

Other "Stuff": Silly hats/fun stuff, roll of duct tape (all hatches leak), braided nylon twine and about 20' - 30' of light gauge s/s wire (tying stuff down, lanyards, etc.), knee pads (in rough seas, you'll spend time on your knees), binoculars, a cheap watch (Timex…leave any good ones at home) and a cheap camera, alarm clock, flashlight & extra batteries. Antiseptic hand soap & nail brush. Small gift for skipper and, perhaps a few "trading goods"…use your imagination.

Prior to Departure from Home: Become confident & practice (and become famous for) preparing a One-pot meal, a bread/dessert or other "surprise" from the galley. Make sure you're in good physical shape. If musical, an harmonica, flute are good…practice. Guitars are too big/subject to damage.

Upon Arrival at the Vessel: Aside from the usual safety familiarization and with the skipper's permission, check all the rigging possible to familiarize yourself, check all pad eyes, shackles, shackle pins, winches, blocks, sail tracks and reefing gear…even fresh from the shipyard, pins & bolts can be the wrong size/material, loose or missing. Insist on practicing reefing and head-sail changes.

Have a diagram made of all thru-hull fittings (where they are) and go find them…also rudder shaft fitting and propeller shaft fitting/stuffing box. FIND AND KNOW WHERE ALL THE HOLES IN THE BOAT ARE.

If possible, secure a berth in the aft section or mid-section…the forepeak is very uncomfortable in seaway. Find and examine all hand-holds (and other fittings/fixtures that you may grab), especially around the galley and in the head, to ensure they will take your weight when being tossed about. If "hot-bunking", discuss with your bunk mate, in advance, any personal feelings about hygiene, tidiness, privacy that may concern you.

Report "anything" to the skipper that doesn't "feel" right and GET RESOLUTION with him to allay any future doubts or determine a course of action, in advance, for those feelings.

Weird Stuff: Do not present yourself or your abilities with any exaggeration but do emphasize any particular abilities or talents you have confidence in. Boozing skippers or crew are trouble…a ration of rum or a beer/per day is okay, but any amount incapacitating, is not acceptable. Some skippers shout and use less than flattering terms when under pressure…remember he's responsible for both his safety and yours…but it should be only a temporary phase. Don't get insulted or let these comments get under your skin. Never-the-less, pay attention, ask for guidance, re-visit the situation and/or seek resolution. Needless to say, privacy on any yacht is at a premium and in the tropics, nudity is not uncommon…this applies to both sexes and can be troublesome if not fully confronted…if you've got any "hang-ups" about either, ask and clear the air. And speaking of sex, make sure your own morals, ethics and demeanour are consistent with the skipper and crew.

In all cases, any signs of, incompetence, lack of vessel preparation, drunkenness, abuse, privacy or sex issues and general incompatibility that make your "red lights" go off, should prepare you to abandon the venture. By all means, express your concerns to the skipper but don't hesitate to bail out if your "level of comfort" is going to be compromised. Any serious concerns you have now, that can't be resolved, will be compounded in the many days, isolated at sea, despite feelings of disappointment and possible regret you may initially have when the vessel sails without you.

NEW & SECOND THOUGHTS: Since original posting As mentioned at the beginning of this list, I've received an overwhelming number of inquiries and great suggestions…plus meeting some really great folks. A few tips worth mentioning have resulted: Ladies, please watch out for crew lists that specifically "fish" for single women companions…seems that not all sailors are gentlemen, despite glowing terms of adventure and modest expectations of your "participation" in shipboard life! Next, never have a rigid time schedule…the ways of the sea are not timely…as weather, a great anchorage (or beach bar), breakdowns/repairs, etc. can eat into schedules. And trying to keep a schedule usually coincides with s#*t happening.

Re-visiting some of the original stuff…binoculars - bring your own and never play around with the helmsman's unless invited to…a real faux pas and could be dangerous in critical situations. Never tread the deck in "shore shoes"…keep deck shoes aboard or go barefooted. You'll never have too much money or enough credit resources…just don't flaunt the amount or how to access your private stash…yep, I've seldom met a sailor who cruised "under budget" or purposely missed the bargain of the century in some foreign port.

Get fit and keep fit…the vessel will be constantly moving and so will muscles you never thought you had. Legs, arms, upper body and, believe it or not…some internal organs (your intestines are muscles, too). Therefore, bowel movements (or lack of them) aren't necessarily only affected by anxiety, diet and the sea's motion if you're trying to diagnose an uncomfortable feeling…usually, tummies settle down after 3 or 4 days.

Attitude is EVERYTHING. Your new shipmates will include strangers with their own "baggage", ambitions and skills…always look for the best in everybody and be prepared for the sharing of deepest secrets…and hearing the most outrageous lies/lifes' stories…when huddled in the cockpit or under starry skies.

Above all, especially for neophytes (and sailors with notoriously short memories), remember that as romanticized as sailing is, you WILL find discomfort, fear and a hankering for terra firma. This will be offset by finding personal strength in challenging your surroundings, overcoming fears and, hopefully, falling hopelessly in love with the sea, its shores and our fragile, beautiful world.

You've rationalized all of this? Great! Now, prepare for the time of your life, forming friendships and memories that will stay with you forever.

Cheers,

Richard.

An iSealife author!