Jun 25

Sailing Sicily

After a ten minute conversation and a few text messages we were sitting in First Class on a flight to Venice, Italy. Our mutual friend got married with the intention of uniting her closest friends. It worked! Two female sailors seeking adventure. Danielle and I had both lived in Santa Barbara but had yet to cross paths. I had two weeks off work and a birthday and was looking for an adventure to fill that gap. Within minutes of meeting, I had invited myself to sail with her around Italy on her upcoming trip scheduled to leave my first day off. Serendipitous! I am a flight attendant and offered to arrange her airfare so we could fly together in style. As we sipped champagne she explained to me we were about to embark on a very privileged trip. Her two close friends, a husband and wife team, captain the private sailing yacht Volpaia, a 70′ Swan, and had a few weeks to play before the owners arrived for the season. Brooke, Cyrus, and another crew member, Lauren, picked us up at the airport in Palermo and we clicked immediately.

 

First thing in the morning we went to the local markets and stocked up on two carloads worth of fresh fruit, vegetables, and cheese. By 1p.m. we departed from Trapani to our first island, just in time to celebrate my birthday. We anchored in the lee of a rugged cliff in crystal clear water on Marettimo Island. We launched the paddle board and dingy and noticed we were surrounded. There were beautiful, angelic jellyfish everywhere we looked. I wanted to see what we’d be in for if anyone got stung. I stuck my finger in the tentacles and yup, they stung, but not more than a bee and it didn’t feel deadly. We swam close to shore in the warm water with our eyes pealed.

 

 

After an exhilarating swim we went back to the boat only to find the kindness and generosity of Brooke in full swing. She had stayed aboard to make me a surprise birthday dinner and cake! A cheese platter fit for a king was beautifully displayed on the cockpit table when we arrived. My jaw dropped and was left speechless. Champagne with homemade peach puree flowed as the sun set. There were even candles and a Happy Birthday crown to commemorate the occasion. I felt more loved and welcomed by four complete strangers than I ever could have imagined.

 

Day two was full of relaxation and exploration. The jellyfish were nearly gone and the weather was calm and warm.We did some yoga on the bow and ate fresh fruit and real Greek yogurt for breakfast. We explored caves, dove off rocks and practiced our headstands on the inflatable paddle board. From our anchorage the only signs of life were the jellies and the occasional passing fisherman. I believe there are two kinds of cruiser; those who can’t wait to get to their next destination to explore the shore and town, and those who enjoy sailing and just being at anchor. Our group was in no hurry to explore town.

 

 

The next morning we pulled anchor and sailed 50nm to the Island of Ustica. A small island with a quiet town tucked away on one side. We moored with our stern underneath an old abandon hotel using two stern lines. It created the perfect swimming hole against the rock ledge. It was time for the toys to come out. We inflated a portable palm tree, lounge chair and beach ball and headed into a cave for a photo shoot. The water inside the cave was glowing neon blue and looked like phosphlorescence. We snorkeled around the island and found a few colorful fish and a couple of starfish. This is the most sea life I had ever seen in the Mediterranean. I grew in in Key Largo, FL so am used to a flurry of brilliantly colored fish and corral. The Mediterranean took some adjusting but is equally beautiful in its own way.

 

The following day we explored every inch of the abandon hotel, 007 style. There was an Indiana Jones poster near the pool bar so it was probably functioning until the early 90’s. There were still lounge chairs stacked in the storage shed. The rooms were still fully furnished with beds, TV’s, and artwork on the wall. The large dining area had enough kitchen appliances to open a Sears Home Furnishing! There was even a cute little red Mo-ped parked inside the cooking area. It was definitely a beauty in its heyday and we felt bad for someones lost dream. It was surprising that everything was still so untouched for being so accessible. I guess looters don’t live in Sicily.

 

Later that afternoon we went to shore for a bit of wine tasting and pizza. As it turned out, we were in town during the World Cup and Italy was playing in this international event. Huge TV screens walled the town as people gathered and cheered for their country. We sat amongst the crowd and cheered and “ahhhed” along. We finished the night with a cup of the worlds best gelato. As we dingied back to the boat we watched the full moon rise from the horizon. It was the perfect ending to another perfect day.

 

We set sail for our next island destination the following morning. There was so much to learn about this sailing yacht that differed from mine. I live aboard my own sailboat, a Horizon Nemo 39, Que Sera, have my captains license, and have been sailing since birth, but this ‘hydraulic’ thing added a whole new element. Winches bigger than my torso controlled easily by the touch of a button. To furl in the headsail, button. Hoist the main, button. Bring in the jib sheet, button. Bring up the anchor, button! So many buttons, then one high speed and one low speed for each. It took a few days to learn the lines but of course the fundamentals are the same. It’s easy to get spoiled and I know one thing for sure, I will be upgrading to an electric anchor windlass as soon as I get home.

 

We arrived in Cefalù, mid-day and anchored outside of the small harbor under stone homes hidden within the cliffs. There were freshwater springs onshore that overflowed into the ocean and you could see the two mix like oil and water. When we jumped in, the surface water was cooler than below which was surprising. Still refreshing, we went for a swim and took turns taking warm showers off the swim platform. Ah another luxury of a fancy yacht.

 

Being a Friday night, we decided to venture to shore and explore the city. Ancient stone buildings on our left and a 100 foot cliff, flowers, crashing waves, and a sunset to our right. The narrow roads were full of life, incredible silk clothing, gelato, and music. We befriended two traveling musicians who were scheduled to perform at a baptism the following day. We convinced them to give us a private concert down by the beach. We sang and danced in the moonlight to a language we did not understand. Other tourist stopped to watch the entertainment. We would have done well had we set out a tip jar.

 

Our next stop was 50nm to Vulcano Island. Yes, it is an active volcano island. We moored in a stunning private cove with a small beach underneath a rock slide area. This is the closest I’ve seen to a ‘beach’ in the Mediterranean. For some reason, I had expected the postcard image of Santorini, Greece to be a common occurrence.This was not the case. The islands are tall, rock islands with cactus, a few green shrubs, and a few seagulls. They remind me of Baja California but without the wildlife.

 

At 2am, I could no longer ignore the banging against the side of the hull. It sounded like the dingy was smacking into us repetitively and reverberating through my body. I opened my door to find Brooke and Cyrus looking at the chart. They were deciding where to move. Not because the boat was in danger but because, ‘we are in danger of losing sleep.’ When I peeked outside, there was whitewash coming from every direction. The wind was only blowing about 15 knots but the swell had gone wild. It was as if we were being osculated inside a washing machine. We attached a fender to the stern line and tossed it in the water so we could retrieve it in the morning. We motored into the moonlight and found a little protected cove around the corner. In the morning when I woke and looked outside, there it was; my first and only ‘beach’ in the Mediterranean! It was narrow and short but most definitely a beach. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who had discovered the beach. It was a popular place and we had a continuous flow of boat traffic all morning.

 

 

Around 11am we moved into a main anchorage on Vulcano Island. We took a mooring here as it was 50 meters and the local was rather insistent. It was overcast all morning and soon started to pour. We put on our bathing suits and headed to shore for some hot spring sulfur mud bathing in the rain. Now this is my kind of adventure. It looked like a wide shallow mud puddle where you would see hippos bathe at the zoo, and it smelled about the same if you added some rotten eggs. We went for it anyway. We painted our faces with thick warm earth mud and soaked for about an hour. Just steps away, the ocean floor bubbled with hot sulfur water and made a perfect place to clean ourselves off. Our skin was incredibly soft but our bathing suits may never recover. We stopped by a grocery store for a few fresh items, smelling like pond scum, and headed back to the boat for my last supper.

 

Once again, Brooke out did herself and made a delicious shrimp dinner with fresh mozzarella, avocado, mushrooms, brilliant red tomatoes, an array of sauces, and extra love. The quality of food in Italy is unmistakably some of the best in the world. Come to think about it, so was the company. We wined and dined, and enjoyed our last night together aboard the lovely Volpaia.

 

As I sit here in First Class my trip has come full circle. Reflecting on my experience leaves me feeling full and humble. I am overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to have been part of this grand adventure. When I invited myself on this trip on a whim, I had no idea what lay ahead. Danielle put herself on the line by inviting a stranger into the intimate home of her close friends. Being together in this space proved to be one of my greatest experiences of all time. We all formed a unique bond that I’m sure will last a lifetime. I gained priceless knowledge from a couple who have been sailing the world together for over a decade. As we parted ways we felt like we’d know each other for years. We did not exchange a hug of goodbye, but a hug with promise of a next time.

 

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Apr 11

Yoga School

         Yoga School  

I had to commit, six weeks in advance,

Which isn’t so easy, for people like me.

For $3,000 dollars, and a month of your time,

A shala in Nicaragua, come see what you find.

Three gurus await, to show you the light,

We’re seekers of truth, yogis unite!

     In our new kula, Krista shines with sundara,

    Jiya chants shanti, and Brook is so vata.

  We learn doshas and mantras, and practice vinyasas,

       And sit with ants, to read about sutras.

       At Prana Shakti, we’re mindful of our mats,

And with any luck, get to play with a cat.

We memorize words, that we’ve never heard,

And get woken up, by the sounds of the birds.

For breakfast we eat, granola and fruit,

For lunch we eat kimchi, which makes some of us toot!

The wind it does blow, but it keeps us cool,

All day and all night, while we’re in yoga school.

On our sadhana day, we frolic and play,

And sit by the pool, to try to stay cool.

We shed layers like a serpents, and relate to a jaguar,

Follow sweetness like a hummingbird, like eagles we’ll soar.

                         So when we get home, and friends see our glow,

                       Lets remember to hold space, and always say OM 🙂

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Jun 10

Why I’m Still Single

I hear time and time again, story after story, about men falling in love with these diamond wearing women and taking them cruising. They don’t really want to go but if their high maintenance checklist is fulfilled they’ll go. They go because they’ve been bribed and have bargained, not because it’s there dream. I recently met a women with a huge diamond ring on each finger. She pointed to each finger and said the name of the tropical island that corresponded with the ring.  I read another article about a women who fell in love with a sailor and was drug out on several weekend trips to the surrounding islands but complained the entire time. To her credit she did eventually learn to tolerate and even like the trips but she still couldn’t wait to get home to get a pedicure and her eyebrows waxed.
 Do sailor men really want this kind of woman? Is it an ego thing? Does it make him feel more like a man because they have a fearful woman onboard to protect? Is it more thrilling to take a damsel out on her first sail than it would be to take an experienced sailor out? Maybe a female sailor will know if you screw up and this puts your pride at risk? Does it give them some sense of homeliness? I’d really like to know!
Then there is me. I am a 30 year old sailor girl who grew up in the Florida Keys. I own my one blue water cruiser and actually sail her to the Channel Islands on a regular basis. I do most of her engine maintenance myself, can hold my own at the helm in a storm, and I am not afraid to get my hair wet. I’m sexy, free spirited, enthusiastic, I practice good hygiene and am a great cook. I have great career that gives me 100% flexibility and freedom so I’m not tied down to an office. Clearly a great catch! (at least that’s what my dad says;)
I have to fight landlubbers off with a stick but can’t seem to find me a sailor. There is no way I want to convert someone and drag them into my sailing world against their will like lots of men do. Ideally I’d like to find that sailor on the same path, setting sail to warmer waters. I want the cliché… Someone who shares the romantic vision of sailing off into the sunset to find uncharted islands. To roll around in the sand, climb coconut trees, and dance in waterfalls.  Oh, and don’t forget about fishing and surfing naked.
I’m ready for this lifestyle but until then my boat and I are not leaving the dock alone. Someday I’ll find a confidant man who doesn’t mind my competence and independence and even finds it attractive. I don’t mind passing the torch and can’t imagine anything better than sitting back and watch a sexy man work on my engine.  Better yet a man who has his own boat and wants to take me on his adventure. Screw the white horse, I’ll take white sails any day!

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Dec 18

Sailors 9 to 5

 

May people ask, “don’t you get bored out there?” or “what do you do all day?” Well here is a timeline of an average day at sea…

 Sunrise: 0700

 0600-0615 Boil water and make coffee

 0615-0645 listen to the weather and talk on the SSB radio (eat fresh homemade flour tortilla)

 0645-0715 enjoy the sunrise while preparing to hoist the anchor

0715-0745 hoist anchor, remove sail cover and secure the cabin while motoring out of anchorage

0745-0830 make breakfast, oatmeal with honey, nuts and soy milk: enjoy in the sunshine

 0830-0845 clean up galley and do any dishes

 0845-0915 hoist and set the headsail making sure we hold the course

 0915-0945 clean yourself, teeth, face, hair, day clothes (eat fresh homemade flour tortilla)

0945-1000 get out fishing gear and set for the kill

1000-1115 watch dolphins play in the bow wake, take pictures, sun and stretch on the bow

 1115-1145 catch and bring in first fish, celebratory tequila shot

 1145-1200 read the fish book to figure out the catch, fillet

 1200-1245 make fish tacos and enjoy a delicious lunch in the sunshine (eat lots of fresh tortillas)

1245-1300 clean up lunch mess and wash down boat from bloody massacre

 1300-1315 pick a new lure and reset the line

 1315-1330 engine starts to loose RPM’s, Micah troubleshoots and fixes

 1330-1400 pull out more sail, watch the wind pick up

 1400-1415 chat with a passing sailboat on the VHF as they head north

 1415-1430 transmission wont engage in reverse, Micah troubleshoots

 1430-1500 catch second big fish, line fouls in rod so I slowly hand pull in the fish while Micah fixes trany

1500-1530 fillet and clean the big fish for tomorrow’s lunch

 1530-1630 make a cup of tea and enjoy rest of daylight (eat fresh homemade flour tortilla)

 1630-1730 watch the sunset and take more pictures of dolphins playing

 1730-2200 sit on watch while Mom and Micah nap: read my Kindle, look for passing ship lights, monitor navigation station, GPS, charts, wind speed, make minor adjustments

2200-2230 Mom and Micah wake up and we bring in most of the head sail, wind had picked up and we were flying at 7 knots! Brought it back to 5 for the night

 2230-2300 teach Tilly how to shake, successfully

 2300-0600 sleep, wake, repeat

 This is a typical day in the life of a sailor, I think. Maybe eventually the engine will run flawless, the sails will set automatically and the fish will fillet themselves. Not likely and that’s why we do what we do. The only thing we can ever expect is to expect the unexpected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dec 10

Land vs. Sea

During my 9 days at sea while on a boat propelled by wind for over 750 miles from San Diego to Cabo San Lucos, I experienced a new level of contentment foreign to any I’ve had on land. Feeling the bliss of being on the ocean and miles away from society I learned the difference between living on land or at the dock verses cruising.

Over the past 6 months, while living in Los Angeles, I had spent the majority of my time focusing on creating a balanced life for myself. I started practicing yoga, meditating daily even if only for ten minutes, buying and eating the best quality foods, cooking at home instead of eating out, setting an hour aside to break a sweat, taking an active role in building friendships, spending time with family, working as much as possible in between all those other things and so on. I have always been the person who works to live not lives to work. I don’t see how it’s possible to do all those things and work a full time job. My mind was always consciously trying to live in the now. To enjoy those moments with the family, to focus on my breathing in yoga class, to enjoy the 20 minute shuttle ride to work. I can’t say I ever achieved that goal for more than a few minutes at a time here and there. I found it nearly impossible to fully enjoy those moments without thinking about what I ‘had’ to do next. All these necessary things take time and every second of my life was scheduled and accounted for weeks in advance. I had to pencil in alone time or I’d never get around to laundry.

After three days at sea and 100 miles from shore, all of these thoughts had drifted away without effort. There was no longer a schedule. There was no longer the rush to relax nagging in the back of my mind. There was no longer the ‘I have to eat now or I won’t have time the rest of the day’ feeling. I would eat when I was hungry, swam when I wanted to swim, sleep when I wanted to sleep, I showered when I (stunk) felt like it. Days faded into nights that faded into dawn that faded in to magnificent sunsets. The stress muscles in my shoulders completely relaxed more than they ever had in any yoga class. Every ADL (activity of daily living) such as cooking, dishes, showering, sleeping, reading etc. was completed with wholeness. As I did each of these things I was present in the act like never before. Never once while sitting on the bow staring at the horizon or watching the dolphin play did I think about what I ‘should’ be doing or what I ‘had’ to do next. I was doing it. I was living my life, living my dream, and soaking up every moment of it. I was always in the present moment while at sea.

 

 

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Dec 03

Tilly sails to Mexico

Well, I pulled another all-nighter last night with those crazy humans. It seems they’ve finally figured out that life is just more fun when the sun goes down. They called it ‘watch’, I call it normal. The past three nights there was always someone for me to play with sundown to sunup. I may learn to love this trip to Mexico after all.

 

One week ago I was rudely awakened from my mid-morning nap, stuck in a car and driven to San Diego to what appears to be my new home. She’s a beautiful 38 foot steal cutter with an unlimited amount of nooks and crannies for me to play in. First thing’s first, I had to figure out where to pee. I found the head and relieved myself after the long ride. I explored every inch of S/V Audacious before finding the perfect spot, inside the doghouse. I was shielded from the elements and there was no risk of being tossed overboard. The view was panoramic yet I could stay warm and dry behind the glass.

Monday, November 28th at 1930 we set sail from San Diego. Ok we didn’t actually set sail; we didn’t even take the sail cover off. We motored 60 miles to Ensenada, Mexico in the calm of the starry night. Ten hours later we pulled into the harbor just in time for a spectacular sunrise and for my morning nap. The more responsible crewmembers went to town and dealt with customs. Four hours, six different lines, and three miles of walking after a night of no sleep didn’t sound like fun to me. I was kinda mad they didn’t bring me back some leftovers from their first Mexican meal, fish tacos!

 

The next morning we set ‘sail’ again, this time removing the sail cover. The weatherman predicted high winds and six to nine foot swells on Thursday and rain on Friday. As my grandpa Bob says, “the weatherman is always right 50% of the time”. Turns out this time he was exactly half right! I had just laid down after a night of ‘watch’ when I heard a huge thud! I jumped out of bed and rushed to the deck convinced we had hit a whale and were about to sink. Turns out a huge wave had made perfect contact with our beam and gushed into the cockpit. This continued for a better part of the day and was a rather wet ride. Winds picked up to 20 knots with huge, steep walls of water at our stern. We surfed down them with grace. Random items inside the cabin like scrambled eggs and fresh sliced avocado flew around like we were playing racquetball. The sails were adjusted and we did the only thing we could, we rode it out.

 

Good thing the weatherman is only right half of the time because after that we had had enough. Friday was as clear as it gets and not a drop of rain in any direction. The Captain even tossed in a line and tried to catch me a fish! Everyone enjoyed a leisurely day and I napped in the warmth of the sunshine. Approximately 300 miles south of Ensenada we dropped the hook in Bahia Tortuga just before sunset. The wine flowed and the lanterns were lit. Mom tossed me some scraps of barbeque chicken to celebrate.

 

It looks like I’ll be the only one on ‘watch’ tonight but I don’t mind. The others need some rest. I love listening to the silence of the night. It’s only disturbed by the sound of mullets jumping. If I’m lucky one will misjudge its leap and end up on my plate for dessert! Welcome to my nocturnal ways. Buenos noches my friends. Buenos noches.

 

By: Tilly, a.k.a. Night WatchCat

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Nov 17

Just start sailing…

How it began…

After a spontaneous idea, the need for a new adventure, and a quick search on craigslist I bought my first sailboat. I showed up at the dock and this cute 24 year old guy had the engine running on a little Cal 25. Six months earlier when Matt had bought the boat he had never sailed before. Over the summer he made several surf trips to Santa Cruz Island and taught himself to sail. If he could do it so could I!

 

“Toss the lines, she’s ready to go”, he said as soon as I arrived. We motored out of Santa Barbara Harbor and hoisted the sails. When he handed me a Heineken I was hooked! All I could think was, where do I sign? Looking back towards land from two miles off shore was the most life changing moment of my life. Thoughts of island adventures began to run through my head.

 

Throughout the winter I sailed that little old Cal 25 out to the islands every change I got. Her sails were worn and her paint was faded and her crew was enthusiastic. The little 5hp outboard started every time after about 106 pulls. Nonetheless she sailed like a champ as 20 knots of wind pushed us into the unknown. The more wind we had the more excited I got, although I can’t always say the same for my crew. We would anchor next to these beautiful expensive looking sailboats but somehow I felt we always had more fun. We would jump in the icy cold water and barbeque at sunset. The bow of my boat served as a perfect dance platform. We were good entertainment for the geezers next to us sipping their chardonnay. It wasn’t long before I fell in love with my new life as a sailor.

 

After six month it was time to upgrade to a budget blue water cruiser and live the cruiser lifestyle. I wanted a boat that could safely take me beyond the islands. With a little bit of hunting, a 1963 Pearson Vanguard 32 became available in the Latitude38 Classy Classifieds. I scraped together $7000 and bought the perfect boat. She came equipped with almost everything I needed to leave the dock and even a few extras. She had GPS, radar, solar panels, 25hp diesel, an oven, refrigeration, and the main selling feature, a flopper stopper! I didn’t even know that that was. She’s not the prettiest boat on the dock but who wants that in Mexico anyway?! SeaYa is the perfect cruiser in camo.

 

Our first time leaving the dock was to sail out to Santa Cruz Island. What better way to learn your new boat than out in the ocean. We had so much fun figuring out all of the systems along the way.  Anchor gear? We’ll see if it works when we get there. Radar? What does that button do? Why was the bottom of the boom vang attached to the stanchion? Oh, so it doesn’t shade the solar panel while at anchor. Tillermaster? Yes this thing really does work! The previous owner had her dialed in with big plans to sail to Mexico but gave up and walked away. I would continue sailing her where he left off.

 

It doesn’t take much money to buy a boat that will get you into the cruising lifestyle. Find someone who has worked for 7 years preparing a boat but for one reason or another has given up the dream. Someone who has never actually sailed further than Catalina and on that trip realizes their wife gets seasick. These boats are out there and that is where I found mine. You can spend the rest of your life preparing a boat or you can buy one and just start sailing. The people on the Cal 25 are having just as much fun as the people on the Beneteau 42. The only difference is how long it took them to get to off the dock and how much it costs when something breaks!

 

My parents are also cruisers but have yet to leave the dock. They have been ‘fixing’ their perfectly good cruising boat for 7 years now. To their credit and thousands of dollars their boat is a masterpiece and a work of art. It’s eye candy to anyone walking down the dock, but that is the problem, it’s still at the dock! In my opinion all they’ve accomplished is weighing down their boat with too much ‘stuff’, making here a beautiful target for theft in Mexico. I believe they have lost out on a good five years of sailing time. Thankfully this year, right before their 60th birthday, they just might leave the dock.

 

Buy any boat you can so you can get out there and sail sail sail! Be your own captain and teach yourself. One of my favorite saying is, everything you prepare for won’t happen and everything that happens you’ll deal with. The sooner you buy a boat and take your first sail the sooner the adventures begin.

 

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Nov 11

Pick your crew wisely

I’ve always believed it’s the people that make or break a place. Someone once told me it didn’t matter where we were because as long as we were together, we were having the time of our lives. This has held true for me in all of my travels. In Venezuela on a 10 hour overnight bus ride, with a seat that became fully erect with every bump in the road, someone snoring next to me, and mosquitoes chewing at my sweaty face turned out to be the best experience ever because of my perfect travel companion. Being stuck in a van and having to pee for 4 hours that my eyes were tearing and it felt like razorblades were protruding out of my body turned into a bittersweet laughing memory because of my company. On a boat with a crazy bipolar drunk I had the time of my life because the other crew members and I could laugh at him together.

Many of us footloose and fancy free people are ready to jump on a boat and sail the seas simply because the opportunity presents itself. And, you should be! I’m here to tell you there are plenty of options and more than enough good ones. I’d suggest spending time getting to know your captain and crew before jumping aboard. If there is any bit of doubt GET OFF! Remember: if it doesn’t feel good now, wait till it gets under your ski. Then add the fact that you’re in the middle of an ocean with minimal sleep! I am an optimist and agree that any experience will end up a good one with the right attitude, but why not choose wisely and get it right the first time?! Ask your captain questions about your duties and responsibilities beforehand. Find out what is expected of you and let the captain know what you expect in return. Figure out financial obligations, watch schedules, and time commitments before you leave the dock. It also never hurts to ask how much alcohol is consumed while at sea AND at anchor.  You should always ask about their previous crew experiences and if they are still in contact. Find out if they have sailed with other crew members more than once. Maybe ask for their contact info and give them a shout. If you get the scoop about the last three crew experiences you’ll get a pretty good idea about what you’re in for. Use your gut, and bring an ipod and a book or two just in case!

There are several crew listing websites if you are interested in taking a chance and setting sail into the unknown. There are several length time commitments available so choose what’s right for you. I caution you to be prepared for the experience of a lifetime and I guarantee you will never be the same! Happy sailing!

http://www.findacrew.net/secure-server/eng/home.asp

http://www.latitude38.com/crewlist/crewlisthome.html

http://floatplan.com/

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Nov 08

Baja Ha Ha ’11

So, lets just say I pulled off another trip “the Heidy Way”. Found the best crew possible in line going into the costume party. The other girl crew member is a Flight Attendant and thats just one of our many similarities. We couldn’t possibly have more in common! The Captain is fun and safe, perfect combo. The forth crew member Geoff is the perfect balance of fisherman, deckhand, and comedian  . We all did not stop singing and dancing on the bow, in the cockpit and down below the entire first three days. The boat is a luxurious Beneteau 42 with a water maker, unlimited hot showers (2), microwave, oven, huge freezer, blender, and anything else you can imagine from ‘at home’ amenities. Oh, and patchy Internet within 6 miles from shore. We do yoga and exercise daily with resistance bands as a crew! SO FUN!!! And spoiled for sure!! OH, and eating things like fillet mignon, home/boat made pesto chicken, eggs Benedict, fresh baked bread daily, frozen fruit smoothies… the list goes on.  The menu is five star! I feel like I’m back on a Tradewinds Cruise.

 

The second morning I woke up to the engine being started (we were in a sailing race so this was a foreign noise). We were responding to a distress call in the opposite direction. Another boat in the fleet had a huge three inch line wrapped around their prop. They had been trying to free it all morning but were defeated and were thankful we had dive gear! We were about 50 miles off shore and in water too deep for the depth sounder to register, so over 600 feet, water was 61 degrees freezing. The other boat didn’t know how to use the dive gear so I volunteered without thinking and went for it.  Wearing a thin spring suit I jumped in, swam over to their boat, and set them free by unwrapping the line.  Our boat’s name is Set Me Free, love the irony. Then I made my entire crew jump in naked but it didn’t take much convincing!

 

The next morning we hooked both fishing lines at once. The rod I grabbed and reeled in had a 15lb yellow fin tuna attached! We ate sushi for two days and had enough left over to bring ceviche to the boaters potluck in Turtle Bay, 360 miles south of San Diego.

What can I say, all good in my world… I may never leave this life;) !

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Jul 11

Tropical Dorado

1 cup canned or fresh pineapple

1/4 cup walnuts

fillets of fresh caught dorado, or any white fish

 

Preheat oven to 350. Cover your cookie sheet with aluminum (to ease with cleanup). Cover the fish with pineapple and top with walnuts. If you happen to have some graded coconut this is always a bonus. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish is flaky. MMmm Enjoy!

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