You finished your last trip, dropped the guests off, crawled, wearily, out of the
charter pit and had a little squint at the outside world that you’d all but
forgotten. You know what that means: The season is over at last. Hurrah! All
that remains to be done is get back into comfy, off-charter attire and get your
crossing underway. A couple of weeks with nothing to worry about, but which
salon to make yourself at home in and which TV series to work your way through,
right? Wrong! The unthinkable has happened: The owner has decided it’d be fun
to do the crossing too.
naughtier crews, crossings are a time to sit in the jacuzzi, smoke the boss’s
cigars, drink the good booze, chow down on the posh food and put the losses
down to humidor/fridge failure, heavy weather, sea monster attack or whatever
else you can conjure up. Having the boss on board puts the full stop on that
more law-abiding crew, crossings are a time to unwind, to watch movies,
sunbathe, swing in the hammock gazing out to sea, watch the sun come up or go
down, count shooting stars, enjoy the extra space and hide from whichever
crewmember you considered throwing overboard during the season.
crossing can be a very rewarding part of a job in yachting. In short, the last
thing you want is the boss there, relegating you back to the crew area. This is
particularly true if the going gets bumpy and you’d rather sleep in a salon
than your vomit-inducing forward cabin.
than the whole crew opting to throw in the towel and abandon ship en mass, first do anything you can to put him off the idea of coming.Tell tall tales of
extreme sea-sickness, mind numbing cabin fever, mid-ocean tsunamis, pirates,
etc. Failing that, there are a few measures you can take to make the experience
as painless as possible for all those concerned.
guests are demanding ones. Keeping them busy does away with their need to hang
around the bridge/galley/crew mess asking stupid questions. Suggest they devise
a program to keep themselves occupied pre-departure. Crossings can be a great
time to study, catch up on reading or get into an exercise routine, conditions permitting. Make sure
you’re well stocked with board games, playing cards, puzzle books, magazines
on sea-sick supplies and hammer home to guests that prevention is better than
a cure by explaining, "Once you’re ill, it’s too late for pills to work." The last
thing any crewmember wants is to be mopping up in heavy weather. Stock up on
ginger ale and travel sickness tablets – “non-drowsy” for crew and “not
non-drowsy” for guests. No one is suggesting you actually sedate your
passengers (well, a few people did, but can you blame them?) but sleeping
guests are next best to absent ones. Let’s not let anything prevent
them from nodding off. Decaf, decaf, decaf.
Make it a
fun experience for them. Alert them to dolphin and whale sightings, get them
star gazing, throw a “halfway there” cocktail party or have themed days.
Observe equator crossing traditions – give the boss a Neptune costume and a
trident to don for the day. If it's alright with the boss, keep the atmosphere less formal than usual as it will make everyone – crew and guests – feel more at home and comfortable.
smiling, stay positive and enjoy it! Moodiness is infectious. A boat with a bad
atmosphere is not somewhere you want to be stuck for weeks on end.