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A captain invited me recently to sail with a yacht crew from Ft. Lauderdale to Boston, a four-day offshore repositioning. Though I have been asked along vaguely in the past — “You should join us one of these days.” — this was the first time it actually came together.
I was nervous and excited. I’ve been known to get sea sick, even on large vessels, but I was confident the trip would outlast any uneasiness. Unfortunately, weather forced us to reroute and pull into Charleston, a mere 24 hours after we began.
While I got to meet the crew and spend two watches as look-out, I didn’t get to experience the crew dynamic that evolves when mariners are out at sea together, even for four days. One day just didn’t do it. Besides, I slept at least half those hours.
Still, I did learn a few things, the most significant of which is that it was clear that I don’t have my STCW. I felt in the way as the crew went through a MOB drill. (I never did spot the bit of trash our captain identified as our missing crew member.) And although I quickly learned how to plot our course, the radar and passing ships’ lights continued to confuse me.
I guess my point is, despite how much I know (or think I know) about yachting, there’s still much more to learn. Next up for me: schedule my STCW.
Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher of The Triton. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.