Ronstan

The landlubber’s guide to sailing

Published on December 22nd, 2013

While this list was intended for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race on December 26, it works for what any newcomer would need to know about offshore racing.

1. Seasickness
Pressure bands on the wrist, behind the ear, ginger and various brands of tablets are all in play. But old salts know the only guaranteed cure is ”don’t go to sea”.

2. Safety
Lifejackets, lifelines and personal locator beacons are mandatory at night and during rough seas. All crew must also practise man overboard drills. But despite all the tales of monster seas and drowning, the biggest hazard for most sailors is sunburn. Pass the blockout.

3. Toilets
Called heads these rather dainty-size repositories use hand-pumped sea water to flush. Block at your peril.

4. Food
On average, crew burn about 5000 calories a day, so sailing is hungry work. Most boats carry frozen meals for ease of preparation. However, some yachts have microwaves, ovens and even coffee machines.

5. Sleeping

Many crew have to ”hot bunk”. On racing yachts, your bed is little more than a coffin-sized cot, with webbing on the side to keep you in.

6. The after party
For the lucky ones who make it, the party on Constitution Dock in Hobart is legendary. If you weren’t seasick on the voyage, there’s every chance you’ll be green after Hobart.

Courtesy of The Sydney Morning Herald

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