Skippers and crew: a time to improve your sailing skills?

Skippers and crew: a time to improve your sailing skills?

skippers and crew preparing for dawn after the darkness of COVID-19
What are you doing to prepare for the dawn?

One of the best times on a passage for skippers and crew alike is the night watch. Not much is going on except keeping the boat on course and keeping an eye out for other vessels. It becomes a time for reflection and meditation. 

Now COVID-19 has arrived and many of us are in lockdown or isolation, we are collectively in a night watch. Dawn is coming – we know that. Where do we want to be at dawn? As skippers and crew we have some fantastic opportunities to improve our sailing careers during the coronavirus outbreak. Why? Much of what makes us great sailors is the reading and learning we do. 

Here are some ideas for skippers and crew to improve our sailing careers while the world has stopped around us. 

Skippers and crew – hit the books!

For skippers and crew alike, you could be doing a pile of learning to improve your sailing careers without having to leave your home. 

  • Do a shore based seamanship course like the RYA Day Skipper or Yachtmaster
  • Read up on meteorology
  • Read up on navigation and passage planning
  • Into racing? Bone up on tactics
  • Do an online First Aid course
  • What about knots and splices? Pop down to the chandlery or onto an online chandlers and buy some line to have fun with. 

What other things could you improve on that could make you a more marketable crew member on Onboard Space? The more classroom skills you learn the better the sailor you can be, and that makes you someone who’s better to have on a boat.

Skippers – get those boat jobs done!

In France and Spain just now you may struggle to be allowed out to work on your boat. If you can, or in another country where personal freedom is permitted, then now could be a chance to get out of the house and do those jobs on your boat that you’ve been avoiding. Want to clean the oil out of the bilges? What about sorting your electronics out or servicing your rigging? There’s a million jobs to do and if you can, now could be that opportunity. You don’t need to be within sneezing distance of others either!

Where could you be in 20 weeks time?

The fact is we don’t know what’s happening in the next few months. A lot of us will be or are under strict curfews for different time periods. I personally know two families under voluntary isolation for now – that’s 14 long days in the house. 

– What personal goals could you set for yourself in 14 days? 

– What about a month? 

– What about three months?

If you set a weekly plan for yourself to achieve a set goal and then the week beyond that and so on, so you have built yourself a mental plan to maintain and work towards to focus on and to improve your inner life. With your beloved past time, you could grow from this time – by humanity’s coming dawn, you could well be a far better skipper or crew than you are today from the scholarship you undergo in the coming weeks of darkness. 

Keep up the focus folks, and remember that dawn always comes – even after global crises.

With love from the skipper and crew of Onboard Space!

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