Have a fun, healthy and active ocean crossing

Sep 2, 2014 by Angela Orecchio

So, you’re crossing the Atlantic Ocean by boat for 18-21 days? To many people that sounds insane. To yachties, it’s just another June or September.

Yet to even the most seasoned yachtie, an Atlantic crossing is a long voyage.

I’ve been on quite a few long ocean crossings and by now I can say that without a doubt they can be fun, healthy and productive if you spend a little time preparing.

If you don’t go prepared with things to do, play, learn and work on, the crossing could eventually start to feel more like the War & Peace version of “Groundhog’s Day” …long, redundant and boring. And yes, watching movies will wear on you after a while.

Here are some ideas to make any ocean crossing a happy, fun and active one.

By the way, I am working nine-hour days with watches and on-deck duties, and I still prioritize the items I’ve listed below. Sleep is important, true, but don’t underestimate the value of fitness, keeping your mind busy, and laughing with your crew mates. Sometimes those things are the best medicine and will keep you sane during long periods at sea.

My list of items for this year’s crossing:

1. Fitness Routine. I downloaded and saved my favorite YouTube workout videos on a 64-gig USB Stick. To do this you only need to follow the steps on HD Transform to turn your video onto HD VideoMP4. If you need more help, watch any YouTube tutorial.

Apart from the videos I’ve download, I am bring along:

A skipping rope

The Koreball (a travel kettle ball that collapses)

5-pound weights (pink ones)

A yoga mat

Bose speakers


Hula hoop (portable)

Most days I do a combination of high-intensity workouts either on deck or in my cabin, depending on weather. Here’s an example of what I do:

Skipping rope: 2 Minutes

Sumo squats: 50

Hand weights: 20 Reps

Hula hoop: 2 Minutes

Lunges: 20 each leg

Pushups: 20

Skip rope: 2 Minutes

Variation of Ab workouts

Repeat two times

Yoga stretches

2. Vision Board. I put together a vision board with photos and inspiring phrases to keep me on track toward my goals.

3. Thing to Learn. I purchased Rosetta Stone for French, just in case I finally want to learn it after all these years of going to France and stumbling around with broken French. I also have audio books to listen to while I’m on watch, including one on real estate investing, “Whole” by Colin T. Campbell and some Anthony Robbins. And I want to learn more about permaculture.

4. Things to Do. I made a list of things to accomplish on the crossing, including working on my blog to provide excellent content that will inspire other yacht crew and world travelers to be healthy, happy and successful.

5. Things for Play. On our last crossing, we did a Crew Crossing Olympics. Individual crew members earned points for winning various silly games. We had a blast with it. The games are simple but fun and elicit boatloads of laughs. Try some or all of these with your crew. We did one or two a day, usually after lunch or after dinner. Not only will you have a great time, it will give the crew something to look forward to during the trip and help with crew bonding.

Hula Hoop

M&M toss




Tongue twister

30 seconds

Sea legs

Mid-Atlantic swim

Water balloon toss

Chubby bunny

Movie night

Beer pong

Complete the sentence

Staring contest


Who am I?

Poker night



Gibraltar board game

Suggestion:  Play for points where first place wins two points, second place wins one point and third place wins a half point. The most point wins some real or silly prize.

Angela Orecchio is a chief stew and certified health coach. This column was edited from entries in her blog, The Yachtie Glow (www.angelaorecchio.com), which offers tips for crew on how to be healthy, fit and happy on board. Comments are welcome at editorial@the-triton.com.


About Angela Orecchio

Angela Orecchio is a chief stew and certified health coach. This column was edited from blog, Savvy Stewardess, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Yachting. Contact her through www.savvystewardess.com.

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