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.
"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
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
Prior to Departure from
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
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
"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
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
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
Re-visiting some of the
- 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.
An iSealife author!