Position: 37°18’04″N 26°33’42″E

Several people, for reasons we cannot fully explain, want to spend time on Aleta. Some want to learn what the cruising life is like, some would like to carouse, some would like to sail, some would like to snuggle in the aft cabin and leave the rest of the world to itself. These are all valid reasons to drop everything and head to sea in a beautiful red boat.

“Never listen to an American until they say ‘but’” – a European

Life on the waves can be dangerous, but rather than resort to superstition and voodoo, we prefer preparation. Not much, but for the lubberly we have a few requirements that make for a more relaxing sail. Here is the short list of prerequisites we share with prospective crew:

  • Fit everything you want to bring with you in a day pack. There is no spare room on board. If you decide to sleep with your 1200 litre rolling bag, so be it. The good news is the world doesn’t require much dress sense from its sailors. Shorts, sandals, and t-shirts pretty much sums up the expectation. Do bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, a swimsuit if you’re modest, along with a fleece in case it gets cold. We can probably lend you anything you’ve forgotten. Cameras, cellphones, anything that runs off USB charging is all encouraged. But pack lightly!
  • Learn to play cribbage and be a good sport about losing to Carol – because she will win. I think she gets it from her dad, Bob. I played cribbage with Bob once. He learned the game as a boy from his Uncle Paul and never forgot it. With each hand, he would examine me with his blue eyes, crinkled up at the corners thanks to his knowing smile. Of course, he thrashed me, just as his daughter does regularly. I’d like to put it down to bad luck of the draw, but I’m sure it has to more with his ability to read people and will the wrong move on his opponent. I’ve never played cribbage with anyone who counts points faster than Bob.
  • Come and go as you please. “Pray be under no constraint in this house. This is Liberty-hall. You may do just as you please here.” Just that.
  • Learn to tie three knots. They are in order of usefulness, the bowline, the clove hitch, and the stopper, or figure of eight knot. Knowing these knots will allow you to rescue a person overboard, tie fenders to the lifelines, and prevent a halyard running out and stoving your skull in. Useful stuff. Learning to tie knots is easy these days. There are plenty of instructional web sites. All you need is a piece of stout rope and a few hours practice.
  • We are not on a schedule. We sail with the weather. If you want to know what’s happening with the weather, download these two apps: Windy and Predict Wind Offshore. Learn how the apps display forecasts. If you do that you will understand how our schedule is dictated. Let us know when you’re available and we’ll let you know where we are.
  • Complete your certificate in marine diesel mechanics. We can always use help in the engine room.
  • Misneach – stay with the boat! You may be required to wear a life jacket at times. You may be asked to go below decks, or strap in if the weather turns foul. This may make you nervous, but we ask everyone to remember that Aleta is as stout a vessel as has ever sailed. Should we ever decide to abandon ship it will only happen when we can step up into the life raft.
  • Perfect your signature dish. You will have the run of the galley and what better time to show off your culinary skills than on the high seas before a ravenous crew?
  • Bring your meds. If you’re not sure if you get seasick, get meds ahead of time just in case. We don’t have such things on board these days. Whatever we had expired and we no longer get seasick. We can offer you words of comfort and directions to the leeward rail, but not much more.

That’s it. If you decide to join us let us know in advance so we can order spare parts and have them shipped so you can bring them along. Bring plenty of duty free, a smile and willingness to muck in. You are most welcome aboard!

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5 Comments

  1. An interesting invitation but memory of desperate sea sickness, old bones and an unwillingness to learn those new skills make me quite certain that I will not be accepting it. Bon voyage whoever you sail with.

    Jennifer Stone

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