- slow and steady
- no schedules
- ground tackle
- night time
- eliminating electricity
slow and steady
If you can do the same speed with less sail, do it. As soon as you think of reefing down, do it. Should we reduce sails? Yes, always yes.
Shaking out a reef is easier than putting one in in high winds.
The entire task of navigation rests upon the Navionics app, installed onto all of our mobile devices. Its depth maps, compass, GPS, waypoints, community edits, and more, are all the features that we could ever wish for to get from A to B, over water. We use it along with a separate AIS app for traffic.
Sailing with a schedule is a recipe for disaster, too many things can happen on a boat and arriving on a precise date can be difficult. Making plans will make you do bad decisions, leaving in bad weather to make a meeting for instance, can be dangerous. Sail with the weather, not against it.
We carry 3 anchors onboard. We have a Bruce 10 kg, and a Rocna 10 kg and 15 kg. Some will argue that bigger is better, but in our experience the quality and shape of the anchor, as well as your scope makes all the difference. If you want to upsize, your bow roller may need replacing, and in the event of windlass breakage, heaving it up by hand could be next to impossible. We extra lenghts of chain and rope.
We carry 30.5m of chain on Pino, with 61m of 3-strand nylon. This means that we anchor safely in waters no deeper than 11m, we have found plenty of anchorages in the South Pacific in that depth range.
Our favourite weather service is Windy, and while underway, we download weather maps(.grb files) through the saildocs service with our Satellite Phone which we then process with PredictWind. We pick our weather carefully on passage, no sense in taking unnecessary risks.
As a sailor, you must offer help to a boat in trouble. Radio communication is key, specific channels are used in every country for emergencies or information exchange. Every morning, sailors will tune in to a specific channel and listen to a morning net, a public radio exchange in which the weather and local events are announced, as well as boats seeking crew, or items that need to be sold or found. When the weather is foul, the local channels are very busy.
There is an unspoken understanding between sailors, an exchange of looks when foul weather is amidst. Every member of the sailing community knows the difficulties of life at sea, and is ready to lend a hand. We refer to each other by boat name, and like bird-watchers, we can identify rare breeds by sight. When transiting through world routes, we meet the same boats often, thus strenghtening the connection.
During long passages, we must sail throughout the nights. Our pattern, for two crew, is one sleeps between 1900 and 2100, then sails between 2100 and 2400, then goes back to sleep from 2400 until 300, and then goes back to the wheel between 300 and 600.
During these long nights, we listen to countless podcasts and audiobooks, which we discuss around breakfast in the morning. If we're feeling especially tired, listening to upbeat music, as opposed to spoken content helps.
During long passages, our daytime sailing occupations include: cooking, cleaning, doing fixes on the boat and brainstorming on future projects. We don't have a tight schedule for day watches, we hand the wheel to the other as we get tired.
Our aim is to have as few items as possible on board that demand power. More power means more batteries, solar panels, wiring and devices that are sensitive to salt.
Here's a few of our tricks against seasickness.
- Don't drink alcohol or coffee the day before leaving.
- Eat before you're hungry.
- Rest before you're tired.
- Don't let yourself get cold.
- If everything else fails, take the helm.