Monday, 17 December 2012

Sailing Essentials

Before working on the Soren Larsen, I didn't really know what I'd need to get through my watches.  However, I had a lot of experienced people around me to give me guidance. It was only a few items that I had to learn the hard way how important they really were.

A Knife and Spike 
For the first three months of the trip, this didn't get used as I was in the galley. However, for the other half out on deck, my birthday present came in handy.  Keeping your spike about to tackle shackles and willful knots, this was a god send.  Although I mostly used my knife during maintenance, it was great to know, that if there were any emergencies, I could cut a line.

A decent wet weather jacket
 As stated before, I first joined the Soren for galley work, so I thought 'wet weather jacket' but my flimsy water proof will do fine.' Error.  Three months down the line I'm outside. Although for most of it the weather is warm, even at night, New Caledonia to Sydney was a little different. The coat I found on board was rubbish, warm but was in no way waterproof. So in the end, as me and the other half were on separate watches, he let me use his!   Luckily we were never both called up when it was raining and dark.  But next time, I'll definitely buy a decent jacket.

Your own snorkel gear
Bought mine when we stopped in New Zealand, which was one of my brighter ideas.  Knowing you have a decent mask and mouth piece at the ready was a definite plus.

Or any snacks for that matter. When you are out in the open water, or at an isolated spot, I guarantee you'll start graving something high in sugar/fat/salt.  I learnt the hard way that bring some treats and attempt to ration. A Mars bar could get you through some tough times.

Sea sickness tablets/patches
If you are one of the lucky ones immune to the rocking, good for you. However, if you've never put it for test  or know you're prone, take the pills or patches.  I tried not taking them (as they can make you drowsy) and it was a bad idea.  Although over time my body became a lot better at dealing with the motion, I began taking pills and then later patches, at the beginning of all voyages.

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