Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Meditation on the perfect crew

In recent weeks I have had several opportunities to muse upon the characteristics of imperfect crew. I thought it would be better all round if I turned the question around and asked myself what I require from the perfect crew.

No 1: willingness and enthusiasm. Not necessarily for everything, but it's nice to have a crew who are willing to get stuck in, not just with sailing, but also with helping to get Sam on and off, identifying mechanical problems, going to the boulangerie to get the morning croissants, washing up, or confabulating over weather, route or destination.

No 2: ability to step ashore with lines. This is actually the main physical reason we have crew. In many locations other yotties, and especially in recent days Rob & Jo, have helped us come in on a number of occasions but even so I'm not sure if I'd want to sail without a crew at all. It's also nice when crew can rig the lines without instruction. This is a major advantage of sailing with Guy and Ben who have been doing it for years and know how to tie the boat up much better than I do.

No 3: moderation of personal habits. Obviously crew can't help it if they snore. However it would be nice if they didn't belch, fart, clear their throats, or slurp their food, all at 110dB. Taking showers and foot washing are also welcome. Perhaps the ideal is to aim for behaviour as if sailing with your grandmother rather than on a lads' cruise.

That's it really. Everything else is a nice to have. A super-perfect crew would be at say Day Skipper level in sailing knowledge, know a lot about boat engines and systems and like nothing better than fixing problems, be obsessively tidy, cook from time to time, generously donate food, wine, gin and other stores, and never criticise anything on the boat or its skipper. And have an interesting fund of anecdotes and chat, and know when to shut up....

1 comment:

Simon E said...

Oh my! Some soul searching for me now. I have certainly been known to snore...