What's in the "Go-Bag" for Crewing?
Though I'm still a little flaky about actually making it happen due to my business, I'd like to be ready to crew on a delivery here or there when the opportunity presents itself. Already a couple of dudes have been kind enough to offer to drag me along - I just haven't been able to make the schedule work. Still - I want to be ready!
So, being that I'm the über greenhorn (how 'bout them dots) - I'd like to start assembling gear that actual delivery crew dudes have in their "go-bags".
So what do I need?
PS - I already have my sailing experience packed. It doesn't take up any room at all.
A new pair of glasses. :laugher :laugher :laugher
A lot more experienced people will tell you the items and facts, but here are some of my thoughts.
1. You've got a lot more experience that some people have when they set off.
2. Wet weather gear, your own harness/ life jacket and tether(s) with knife, light and maybe personal epirb.
3. Think about taking a GPS (lithium batteries) for your own record of the trip as well of course a journal. ( dont be a drain on the yachts batterries)
4. Be ready for being spoken to in a different way to what you are used to. At times, there are no time for pleasantries and if the skipper needs you to get out of bed and upion the wheel, for example, dont take offence (leave that ego stuff at home)
4. Go for it and enjoy and be a sponge for info, but remember - small space and dont be in their face! No politics are allowable - the skipper is right!!
As you already know. Even in the heat of Texas it can get chilly during a storm. Light foul weather gear for summer, and heavy for winter. Your own GPS to play with, small flashlight, but powerful. I use to wear a small torch on a breakaway tether on my neck. To watch the windex, sail shape, and peek around the boat. You might want to take your own chart, so you can practice, and mark them up.
My brother shows up with a packpack for a 2 -3 week trip with us. Several swimsuits, t-shirts, shorts, and something long to cover his legs in case he gets too much sun. Most people make a mistake of taking the dresser draws with them. It's a delivery, so maybe 1 nice shirt for arrival.
If you do the chart, then take the paralell bars, dividers, and pencils. Don't forget your toothbrush, and deodorant too!!!!!!.:laugher ......i2f
I keep some dried ginger in my bag along with foulies and warm clothing layers.
I second or third your own GPS, harness etc.
Pack your night vision and sense of humor as they are gonna' have you do a night watch! Trust me on this.
My delivery experience is that checking baggage is awkward and can cause you to miss connections. Accordingly I generally don't take my own knife. I do carry my own inflatable PFD/harness together with a print-out of the TSA guidance that says the cartridges are okay.
Do NOT take a bright flashlight, at least if you are sailing for me. Light discipline is important. 1 dim LED is fine for most purposes. If you can't read by that light take an iPod or such with music, audiobooks, and podcasts. It takes a long time for night vision to fully recover from light.
Have a small bag for anything you take on watch with you. That keeps your belongings together, makes prep for watch easier and faster, and avoids losing things. It isn't polite to the rest of the crew to stack stuff up in the cockpit that is in the way of the current watch-stander.
Regardless of what I say, the word of the skipper whether owner or delivery is THE WORD. Ask him or her what they expect and what their own rules are. That is most important.
For me, my go-bag includes light and heavy foulies, clothes assuming two or three days out of each item, my own towel, half-a-dozen terry rags (mostly for sweat and sponge baths), PFD, small LED flashlight, iPod, 12V charging adapter for my phone and the iPod, current reading, two pairs of gloves, some odd cooking tools, spare glasses, dopp kit, and a sleeping bag in a stuff-sack. It's easier to take stuff out than to remember to put it in.
I also have a skipper checklist I go over with clients to make sure we have the stuff I feel is appropriate to the run.
Depending on the length of the passage, I'd avoid the '2 man' crew on anything longer than 4 or 5 days. The 4 on 4 off watches are on the brutal side and can effect decision making and rough weather will only make matters worse...especially at night. After 10 days, I was headed for the 'unfit line' and although still functional, I was very tired. After the twelfth day, I was more than ready to jump ship.
I like the 'watch bag' SVAuspicious suggests. I usually bring enough snacks (beef jerky, trail mix, granola bars and chocolate) for all but I save my favorites for watch snacks...helps on those lonely nights when you can't see anything but the LED's in the cockpit and the night demons are doing there little dance in your head. :eek: :D
EAR PLUGS! Don't leave home without 'em. It's amazing when you get overly tired how noisy a boat can be...vhf (buddyboat), ssb, tankage slosh, that lost can of rust buster bumping up against a half full water tank and of course the Capt's lucky charm hanging from a chain on the bulkhead next to your head that's the size of a trash can lid...which BTW, apparently worked well!
Alarm clock. Nothing more irritating than being late for a watch. I carry one of those Oregon Scientific models that emit a light high frequency "beep" that can be heard thru those soft db 32 ear plugs yet will not disturb other crew. If especially tired, have a wake up call by the on watch a half an hour earily to make a snack and something hot for your watch and the one coming off. Helps in keeping awake during watch and serves well as nap fuel for the one coming off.
Beside the items mentioned by others above, I carry zinc oxide, extra eyeware, extra pair sunglasses, two goofy hats that cover ears and back of neck (an excellent look BTW) and an extra recharge kit for my harnessed PFD. Oh, and any necessary meds plus some extra...even with the aid of ear plugs, the voices can get quite loud! :D :laugher
All of the above plus, a fleece sweater/jacket mid layer(pants too for cooler weather), deck shoes and sea boots.
I find a headlamp is pretty useful since it frees up both hands for tasks below decks like digging through your duffle to find the piece of kit you need.
I like to take a few of the cold coffee drinks as well, since they taste good and are available when making coffee is too much trouble.
My wife would tell you I don't use ear plugs, I cause others to use them since I snore pretty bad when I'm really tired, so there's another reason why earpugs are not a bad idea.
Okay - so the Go Bag is coming together. I may be crewing an offshore race in the Gulf in June - so I needed some cool crap. As I mentioned in my "SN Booty" thread, almost everything you see in the photo below was purchased through the SN store. You can see all the price comparisons, etc. in that thread...
1. Gill Regatta Deckhand Gloves Short Finger
2. Gill - Performance Shoe - Black/Carbon
3. AquaBox Waterproof Protection Case (White) for Apple iphone (this thing is freakin' COOL!) - from Amazon (SN didn't have it)
4. DRY PAK WATERPROOF DUFFEL BAG
5. MIDLAND NT3VP 5 WATT HH VHF W/ BATTERY, CHRGR, AC
6. ACR FIREFLY PLUS STROBE FLASHLIGHT COMBO
7. ADVENTURE MEDICAL SOL CORE LITE SURVIVAL TOOL
8. Revere Comfort Max Manual Inflatable PFD with ORC Safety Harness
What's not shown here are my light foulies, Gilligan shoes, clothes, and other personal items listed above that I'll have packed.
I'm going to add an LED head lamp with red light option and a fanny pack for small stuff. One of the things that I went back and forth on was the pfd. This model doesn't have any storage compartments or strap patches on it. I've heard that this is good (no interference with inflation) and I've heard this is bad (no storage up high). I think the fanny pack will be a good alternative...I hope.
I'm going to experiment with the iPhone as GPS on this trip - using the AquaBox for protection. The thing I'm most concerned about is battery life - and the ability to recharge the battery as crew on someone else's boat. We'll see.
I thought about getting the Spot Connect (and still might). I just don't like the idea of having lots of devices that overlap in function (iPhone, Garmin, Spot, PLB, etc.) - if I can get this boiled down to one or two devices. Any other ideas? Or anything else that you see I'm missing?
come on pal, you know what they say.... all youve got to do is tell them 'once they go smack they never go back.' in any case, while (disclaimer-no affiliation) i am a proponent of the gill gear, i must say that the full finger gloves have lasted less then one season and im not very pleased with them... these:
Pro Gloves - Long Finger
frankly, total crap--though i do like the outerwear. you could probably jam a set of foulies in there? probably wouldnt hurt to have a harness too? HAVE A GREAT TIME! egads, i cant believe i said once you go....
oh, maybe a multitool? a la survivorman? partial to the leatherman wave myself....
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