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Old 15-03-2013, 19:45   #31
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

Super stoked about you guys' stories. Indeed I will wanna report back here.

Food-wise, we will have a good cook. I'll be looking for energy bars and some extra stuff for myself then. I wont be the only younger guy onboard and the capitaine is a fit 37 year old french guy who's got skill from sailing his rustic "goelette" for years.

As for seasickness I have taken ginger pills before which worked well but ideally will use it and let go gradually. Gotta find that or something as good cuz i wanna be effective out there.

Yep on to South Africa, about mid-April departure. This area of the world (Indian Ocean) somehow has always facsinated me so much, surfing-wise and more. I have put everything into surfing since im 16 but since then i wanted to get into sailing and boating as well. So this is pretty significant, means the world to me.

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Old 15-03-2013, 19:48   #32
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

Originally Posted by Joseph View Post

Just wanted to hear about your first ocean crossing, how you felt at the completion, how much you learned, and how it influenced you after.

My First in the late 70s was a cocked hat full of uncertainties.
Did not know how to choose crew based on personalities and their interaction after many days at sea
Did not appreciate the importance of good, plentiful and varied food.
Was too flexible with crew maintaining a proper lookout and too rigid at the same time with my watch schedule.
I was a poor motivator.

It taught me to become an expert weather forecaster, an accomplished navigator and a conservative pilot.

Each passage thereafter became easier as improvements in equipment and information complemented my growing skills. I could then focus more on creating a pleasant and efficient passage with crewmates.
To simply enjoy the beauty of being at Sea!

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Old 15-03-2013, 20:00   #33
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

If you're good with isolation, you may find the hardest aspect is coping with your crewmates (or more likely, one or two of them)

If you're not good with isolation, they may be the least of your worries.

I learned quite a lot about the importance of being tolerable, as well as the more usually mentioned importance of being tolerant.

If you're a highly strung person, the former will probably require finding some way to be more relaxed, philosophical, and fatalistic. And not to take things personally. (Especially, but not only, things which are not personal)

Being more tolerant requires finding some other way than bottling things up, or blurting them out. Not easy, especially given today's cultural norms.

If possible, find someone NOT on the crew whose shoulder you can cry on.
Failing that, write it down, then THROW IT AWAY or at the very least post it to yourself, at home, marked "Personal" ! (then throw it away, unread...)

I was lucky because my first skipper had an astonishing ability to assess people's social compatibility. We started the trip with four watches of three people, which was soon reorganised to six watches of two people.
Both times, virtually everyone was DELIGHTED to see who they'd been put on watch with. And some of us, the skipper had barely met before the trip started.

My biggest regret was that (being young and foolish) I relaxed my efforts to be the best possible shipmate on arrival at the interim destination where I was to leave the boat.
I was transitioning back into my habitual autonomy, rather than remaining a footsoldier doing what he was bidden, and as a result I was a bit too wrapped up in myself to do what was best for the skipper (who had a lot on his plate) and the boat - minor incidents, but I didn't leave my reputation quite as unblemished as I could wish.

The skipper's job, particularly on a big boat, is hard enough that it pays to put 110% effort into being a truly cooperative member of the team, for the entire duration of the passage.
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Old 15-03-2013, 21:57   #34
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

Well nobody told us we were to stupid to try it ! cus nobody knew we were going LOL we just put the jugs of water aboard and food (well drylite camping food !UGGG) and away we went ! never was much for asking for pemission for much of anything! ! actualy it was a great trip, caught fish galore! and thank god for that cus eating that back packing food from back then was makeing me loose weight LOL My brother and I had been going to sea for a long time even back then as our Dad was a commericial fisherman and brought us up working on boats ! My best memorys was the sun-sets and our first flyin fish on deck !!
Bob and Connie
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Old 21-03-2013, 10:45   #35
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

One of the funniest stories on my first trip was that before leaving we had loaded up with groceries for the seven of us, including a tenderloin we were going to cut into steaks and a roast. The Captain cooked up the roast o\for the second night for his turn as cook, and it was decious (I had just gotten over my seasickness and I really enjoyed it). We all agreed we had never eaten a more tender and more succulent pot roast.

The next night we decided it was time to get out the tenderloin and chop it into steaks and grill them. And, found, ....the pot roast in the freezer.

So, for those who haven't done it, a tenderloin makes an unbelievable pot roast.
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Old 22-03-2013, 03:54   #36
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Hi Joseph,
Congrat's on getting a crew position. I am sure you will enjoy the trip and learn quite a bit during your voyage. If you feel you are not learning enough, sit down with the skipper/captain when he is relaxed and ask questions and let him try to explain things to you. But do not pressure him about things when he is busy. In that way you will learn and he/she will appreciate you even more. As mentioned in a post above, take your own "stash" of goodies with you - chocolates, energy bars, cool drinks etc.

Do your job on board and follow the instructions you are given. Do not sleep on your watches and forget about watching movies, playing games on your laptop, iPad or cell phone when on watch at night - even if you are board out of your mind! Just try your best to fit in with the rest of the crew.

I remember my first ocean crossing from Africa to South America - it was a trip from hell as the owner of the yacht was a hell of a nice chap ashore but changed to Hitler's cousin as soon as we lost sight of land. I enjoyed the sea time but not the atmosphere on board. However, I was hooked on sailing and have gone on to spending many years delivering boats all over the world, and getting paid for it! Thus I have had a few hundred young and old crew aboard the boats on deliveries. Most have been great folk and others no so great. As a skipper/captain I have bitten my tongue on many occasions and have had a few crew think I am the biggest AH they have ever met. But then they are in the minority and most of my trips I get on with my crew well and they appear to get on with me well. I always sit down with new crew, as a group, well before a trip and discuss what happens aboard during passage making. We go through safety on board, cleaning duties, cooking duties, crew hygiene, maintenance and watch keeping duties. And then a lot more. Everybody knows their duties and my expectations well in advance and I get to know their thoughts and expectations too.

If a crew member thinks I am doing something wrong or not to their liking, I tell them upfront that they must approach me and put their feelings and thoughts in the open and we will discuss the problem and I will explain why certain things are done certain ways. I am always willing, and never stop, to learn from others and sometimes get things wrong. I find this is a way to keep everybody as happy as possible in a very closed environment, where just a small incident can grow in a persons mind to something big and make a big difference in a long trip.

Some crew do a trip and and never sail again. Others tend to want to continue sailing and a few - well, you just can't keep them away from boats ever again!

Let us know your route and estimated times - maybe we will meet up some place, some time. I am scheduled to be in Seychelles towards the end of April or beginning of May and maybe we will meet and have a beer at the pub at Eden Island Marina, if you are routing through Mahe. Otherwise, give me a PM when you eventually reach Cape Town, where I am based.
The Delivery Guy
Now retired after sailing over 400,000nm
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Old 22-03-2013, 21:04   #37
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

Originally Posted by Group9 View Post
So, for those who haven't done it, a tenderloin makes an unbelievable pot roast.
How were the butt steaks?
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Old 23-03-2013, 16:04   #38
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

I used to do a lot of deliveries. I reinstate, "Stand your watch." Once took a 45 footer from Asia to the Med with a crew off the beach. Approaching Aden, my relief stayed below eating munchies and reading her book. I fell asleep uneasily to be awakened by a blood curdling scream. Popped up thrugh a hatch to witness a mountain of glowing white water, the bow wave from a huge ship. It picked us up like a piece of flotsam, noise, spume everywhere. We survived by good fortune.
I always instructed my crew to never do sail work without my permission even if I'm asleep. Awoke one night to a lot of crashing to find two jokers had set the kite and wrapped it round the forestay - Mid-ocean.
The crew is on board to do the work - the Captain makes the decisions. Even take on the voyage with that in mind or don't go. Be sure you have confidence in the Captain before you sign on.
Jack and Jude
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Old 24-03-2013, 08:06   #39
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
How were the butt steaks?
Not quite as good.

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