Come with open mind, team spirit and curiosity
Although JABULO is a roomy catamaran living space on board is limited. To give same privacy the four cabins have doors and the walls between the cabins provide a reasonable sound protection. Depending on the number of crew members the cabins will de allocated to suit the particular constellation. The fore cabins with their queen size beds and large storage lockers are ideal for couples. The aft cabins can sleep 2 each, but these 2 have to squeeze in, space for luggage and other personal effects is very limited. The ideal crew size would be 4-6 persons, also for a comfortable seating around the dinner tables. This brings us to the next topic, the kitchen.
The kitchen, located down in the starboard hull, has 2 large working desks and enough stowage space in hangers, drawers and cupboards to allow comfortable cooking. A stock of basic food such as noodles, rice, salt, sugar, flour, spices, oil, preserves, some canned food and soft drinks is always available. Everything else for the particular cruise must be decided and bought by the crew. The basic stock will be replenished after a crew change. Usually the crew holds a provisioning-meeting on the arrival day and decides about the menus and drinks for a week or for even longer. I can help with a very detailed shopping list template.
Today eating and drinking is (fortunately) not merely intake of the necessary calories as it used to be on the old sailing ships. Food often nowadays is expression of personal life philosophy and health and beauty schemes. This could make matters complicated, from experience I know that extremely different food preferences can seriously affect the team spirit and the mood on board. Therefore for food, as for any other aspect of on-board-living, a good measure of tolerance and regard for others is essential.
On board we share all tasks, everyone will get his share of shopping, cooking, dish-washing, bilge-cleaning, and last but not least sailing, navigating and steering. Each crew can decide if they need a fixed schedule or if they will let things sort out themselves.
In this context I like to point out another important aspect. Although I am the skipper of JABULO, I am not the 24h entertainer, animator or tour guide. Due to my longer staying in a particular area I may sometimes have advanced knowledge of local circumstances, which I will gladly share with you. But the general rule for the crew is: Do it yourself. There is also no peer pressure to always do everything together, we are all individuals with individual preferences.
Finally all people are on board, JABULO is fully stocked and off we go. Usually the first few miles we will be motoring until we reach open waters. Then the big moment comes, the bow is turned into the wind, the sails are hoisted and the Diesel engines are turned off. Around us is silence. The only things we hear is the swoosh of the sea along the hulls, occasional rattle from the rigg and maybe some flapping of the sails. After a few hours our minds also come to rest, this is what sailing is all about. And really, most sailing trips are as peaceful as that. Winds above force 4 are very rare, up to force 5 a catamaran like JABULO will move only very lightly. With todays fairly reliable weather forecasts, a bit of patience and careful route planning bad weather and storms can be almost completely avoided.
Once underway a kind of ship’s routine establishes itself. The common meals quickly turn into the pace maker for all activities. On longer voyages, of course, there will be a real watch schedule of which there are as many as there are skippers. Depending on number and experience of the crew, traffic density in the area, weather and water depth shifts may vary widely. Even on short day cruises the skipper cannot permanently be at the helm. All crew members should be able to steer and therefore will get a crash course in the basics of navigation, sail handling, and manouevers under sail and motor. After only a few days the crew will work together as a well-trained team. Now everybody can really relax and enjoy travelling on a sail-boat.
A wonderful day on board: It is early in the morning, JABULO is laying at anchor in total silence, the sun is rising on the Eastern horizon. I jump over board for a morning wake-up swim. When I come back the smell of freshly brewed coffee made by another early riser welcomes me on board. We hoist the anchor and set sails, while others prepare the days first meal. During breakfast JABULO smoothly sails along by herself, we have all the time of the world to make our plans for the day. Shall we go anchoring in another bay tonight?? Or should we visit this small marina with the famous lobster restaurant?? Then it’s time for reading, writing the log book, SUDOKU, music listening. Around noon some volunteer surprises the crew with a snack. In the afternoon the wind turns against us, we have to tack a few times. The marina is getting out of reach. On the late afternoon it is time for a sundowner, we sail into the next bay and set the anchor. Instead of lobster we eat a home-made dinner while watching one of these unforgettable sunsets you only find at sea.
Where you go defines what clothing you need. The first cruise along the North-American east coast will be almost entirely in protected waters or at least within sight of the coast. From April on you can expect moderate to hot summer weather. When it rains, however, and also in the evenings and nights it can get chilly, especially in the northerly regions. You will not need heavy bad weather gear, but being always outside in the wind asks for a set of warm, windproof clothing, in spite of the southerly latitudes. Here is a list of what you should bring along:
Bed sheets, bed covers, pillows , bed linen and towels will be provided. An additional towel, though, can’t hurt. The kitchen is fully equipped with plates, cups, cutlery, pots and pans. Anyway, whatver is missing, can be bought.