A word or two on Responsibilities
Some readers might be wondering how ‘things’ are organised aboard Escapade.
Julie and I have been sailing together for over thirty years so we’ve got a reasonable idea of how we want things arranged. Over the last three years, since we took the decision to make this trip, we’ve been evolving the way tasks are allocated between us, reflecting the fact that for much of the trip, we will be sailing ‘two up’ (I remember a Round the Island race in PhoeniX with eleven onboard…).
I’m the skipper and sailing master, Julie is the Mate.
Julie does all the routine navigation planning and execution – working out the heights of tide, tidal streams, routeing, passage times, arrivals and departures. She also runs the ‘Met’, getting information from various sources including GRIB files over the satellite, NAVTEX, Windfinder and, most importantly the barometer.
Execution of coastal passages is a joint affair. For example, the trip from Douarnenez to Port La Foret was around 60nm. Julie planned the basic route, but I sailed the boat as far as Ras de Sein (about 20 miles). There, we hoisted the spinnaker – my evolution but a two-handed task. Gybing of Point de Penmarc’h – same deal. The pilotage north of Glenans and in towards La Foret was definitely a team effort, identifying marks, adjusting course for tide and wind. Boat handling in an unknown marina in the dark is my bag – but Julie drove the boat in and out of Brixham harbour and out of L’Aberwrac’h the other day. She is doing more and more of that.
On longer passages (typically overnight or longer) we fall into two watches – three hours about. We sort out our own breakfasts at sea, Julie makes the lunch and I prepare the evening meal. Off watch, we sleep, wash, read, cook, do maintenance, plan navigation or the next ‘run ashore’ and make the tea for the one on watch!
The more complex maintenance falls to me, whilst Julie runs the Medical, the accounts and the stores support (she knows where everything is onboard – I don’t!).
Clearly she is the Morale Officer (though the skipper has the veto on too much of Kid Creole and the Coconuts) and Chief Communications Officer, maintaining links to Good ol’ Blighty. I get to write this…