ADVICE FOR NEW “CREW”
Now you have booked your holiday and are looking forward to your tall ship sailing experience there are a few things we would like you to know.
Words we will use when sailing
deck – this is the wooden part of the ship where you stand
cabins – your rooms
galley – kitchen
mess – dining room
heads – toilets
bow – front
aft or stern – back
starboard – right hand-side
port side – left hand-side
mast – these are the vertical pieces of wood which holds the sails and yards
yards – these are the horizontal pieces of wood on the fore mast which hold the sails
boom and gaff – these are the horizontal (lower and upper) pieces of wood on the main mast which hold the main sail
sails – white pieces of cloth above your head
shrouds – steel ropes
pull – hold the rope with both your hands and pull hard
ease off – basically do not apply any force. Never let the ropes go completely out of your hands: always control the movement
make fast – make secure. When you are on board we will show you how
What you can expect
Life on a tall ship never stops. If you are with us on one of the relaxing holiday trips in Tenerife, Canary Islands, life on board is more relaxed. As we sail from Tenerife visiting secluded bays and small ports we will stop along the way for a swim in the Atlantic where you can jump from the ship or sunbathe and relax on the deck or in the hammock.
The day starts at 9am with a generous cooked breakfast,. You are then welcome to join in the sailing activities including steering the ship, setting the sails and navigation. Lunch is served at 1pm and cooked dinner at 7pm. You will be served tea and coffee throughout the day together with a selection of cakes and biscuits. We will be sailing in the glittering waters between the islands of Tenerife and La Gomera which are abundant in sea life including over 28 species of whales and dolphins. Bring your camera ready for thousands of amazing photos.
During our regular weekly and fortnightly sailing trips in Europe we will do as much sailing as possible with two or three stops in the ports – the number of ports will depend on the weather and the captain will discuss the options at breakfast each day. On sailing days we start with generous cooked breakfast at 8am getting everybody ready for a day of sailing activities. Unless you opt out you will be assigned to one of three watches and you will be taking an active part in sailing the vessel. No experience is necessary and we will teach you all you need to know. You will learn about log keeping, passage planning, navigating, we will teach you about the electronics onboard used for safe navigation, you will learn about the way sails work and how to set the yards (squares) for most efficient sailing. Of course there is lots more. The ship sails all through the day and night sometimes without stopping for several days.
Be aware of the activities around you
On the ship we have a number of automatic pumps and sensors which go on and off at all times of the day and night. For example bilge pumps or grey water pumps (for waste water) might be turned on in the middle of the night when the entire ship is otherwise quiet. Bilge sensors will be beeping to tell us that we need to pump them out. Do not be alarmed. As soon as you get on board we will have a safety briefing and we will tell you what to expect and what to watch out for.
What will you do?
During your holiday stay you will be served three meals each day, with breakfast at 8am (on sailing days) and 9am when in a port, lunch at 2pm and dinner at 8pm. During one of the sailing days we will spend most of the day sailing and you will be able to join the activities on board from steering the vessel, pulling ropes, navigating – we can teach you as much or as little as you want to. And you can try it all. If you want to climb aloft to take amazing photos – just let us know.
We will be sailing for several hours during the day allowing plenty of time for sightseeing when we get to the port. When staying in a bay at anchor we will let you know when it is safe to jump in for a swim. Whilst it is your holiday and you should enjoy your time, your safety comes first. There may be times when the captain will ask you not to consume alcohol whilst sailing, not to move around outside unless necessary etc – this will be entirely for your safety. Most of the time of course, you can just let your hair down and have fun the way you want.
When in the port it will be up to you how you spend your time, sightseeing, dining at local restaurants or visiting local attractions. Before you set off, you will be told what time you have to be back on the ship for the next trip.
We have a number of friendly car rental companies with best hire rates negotiated for our crews to enjoy a visit to the volcano or the rainforest. Please let us know if you want to pre-book a car. We will arrange it for you.
During a long sailing passage the ship might not go into the port each day and you will spend several days sailing non-stop. This is normal and the ship is licensed to sail 24/7. There is plenty of food and water on board to last for over a week and it is normal that tall ships sail during the night. We have plenty of navigational devices to keep the crew and the ship safe.
Life onboard – routines
When joining a sailing passage you will be assigned to a watch and you will have set duties on board. When on watch you will spend your time helming the ship (steering), navigating, log keeping, operating the sails, as well as joining in light bosun’s routines from washing the deck every day to splicing the ropes and doing minor repairs around the ship. This will typically last four hours with eight hours off. We will teach you as much as we can during the time you will spend with us on board.
There is basic food included in all prices as published, unless otherwise specified. This includes cooked breakfast with sausages, eggs, baked beens as well as toast or fresh bread with jam, spread cheese, ham and cheddar plus yoghurts when possible. Most of the time you can expect to find porridge and cereals. Please ask for gluten free or lactose free substitutes as we also have them on board. Not all of these ingredients are always possible to obtain and of course other items might be available. For lunch you will be given a combination of chicken, curry, spaghetti both carbonara or Bolognese, curry, goulash or other meat or chops. We always have or can cater for vegetarians and all other diets but you have to ask first as not always a reach menu is possible in rough seas. Dinner will be a combination of warm quiches, pizza, savoury pastry or salads whether these are rice and veg or pasta salads.
Meals are cooked onboard and served at 8am, 2pm and 8pm. There is unlimited tea and coffee available between the meals 24hr.
If you want more fancy food such as Octopus, Seafood, Calamari (Squid), Steak, Cured ham, Goat or any other fancy food of course we can cook all of these for you at only €10 per person per dish. Alternatively some groups (and we recommend this option) collect a ship’s kitty for extra local delights.
There normally is a Spanish chef on board during each trip who prepares meals but of course you can always take the cooking in your own hands and be responsible for what you eat – just let us know.
It is illegal and forbidden to drink alcohol at sea when sailing. It is against the JDL rules to bring your own alcohol onboard. When sailing with adults we have in our on board bar a selection of local beer, wine and rum, gin, whisky which you can buy at cost prices. Our staff can refuse to serve alcohol when at sea and for all other reasons. Captain’s decision is final.
It is forbidden to bring your own alcohol onboard JDL.
Many people are worried about seasickness, having had a bad experience on a ferry or a smaller boat. There are a number of ways you can help yourself to feel settled at sea, including nibbling ginger biscuits or preserved ginger, drinking ginger tea, or using a travel wrist band (we have some of these on board). Being involved in activities on board also helps stave off seasickness, especially if you can help to steer the ship, as keeping your eye on the horizon is very helpful. Otherwise, if you are particularly concerned, the best advice is to talk to your pharmacist about over-the-counter remedies, and start taking the tablets before you arrive on board (if you start taking tablets when you already feel sick, it’s too late!).
Please note that we are not allowed to dispense medication on board, so you should bring your own supply of motion sickness tablets.
You will be welcomed by the captain and you will be shown to your cabin. We have single and double bunks, 1900mm-1950mm long with either two or four bunks in each cabin. Bedding consists of a bed sheet, pillow and duvet and there are various thicknesses of blankets and additional pillows to make your stay comfortable. You will be given a towell and shown how to use the toilets, showers and hot water. A safety briefing will be given before we leave the marina for your first sailing trip.
Even when coming to the warm Canary Islands the nights can be cold at sea. As we will be sailing during the night and staying for star gazing in secluded bays you are advised to bring a warm fleece, windproof coverall and a hat. Yes, a hat! Even if you are lucky with the weather and you don’t need it you will be better safe than sorry. As with everything we have a selection of warm clothing on board so if you forget something, you don’t need to worry -we will look after you.
Shoes – what to bring
Definitely bring soft comfortable shoes for walking on the deck. After visiting some of the islands, we will ask you to walk across a detergent-soaked mat so that you can clean your soles to stop any bug infestations and to prevent bringing eggs on board. Do not bring your best shoes as the ship is not a catwalk and you will be better off being comfortable rather than fashionable … high heels are definitely forbidden!
If you want to go aloft bring harder soles strap on sandals or sport shoes and the ropes are not comfortable to walk in bare feet.
Do I have to take my shoes off?
Most of the time you can wear your shoes on deck, or you can go barefoot. The crew all do in the port but you will notice that everybody puts their shoes on when sailing to avoid stubbing their toes when the ship is rocking on the waves. Sometimes you might be asked to take your shoes off and leave them in a basket before climbing aboard the ship to stop bringing unwanted insect eggs onto the deck.
How to get to the marina
You you will be emailed a map and directions to the joining marina at the time of booking your trip. In the Canary Islands we start your holiday in Marina San Miguel which is a short 10 min taxi ride from Tenerife South airport. Please keep your mobile phone turned on as occasionally the captain might have to make a last minute arrangement to pick you up from a different location.
Itinerary and changes
As with all sailing ships, our sailing route depends on the wind and the weather. Your safety and comfort on board are always our first priority and therefore on rare occasions the captain might decide to make a change to the schedule. You will be kept fully informed, however for the wellbeing and safety of all on board, the captain’s decision is final.
When we plan our sailing trips, we rely on the general weather trends which can be expected at certain times of the year in the areas we plan to visit. We take note of daily weather forecasts, as the weather changes often, but there are unpredictable events which we cannot plan for in advance. If an unusual weather event is forecast, we will tell you about it when you come on board and sometimes it might be necessary to sail the itinerary in reverse, or even to plan an alternative route. This is the prudent thing to do and although it doesn’t happen often we ask you to be flexible with your expectations.
JDL’s sailing motion
JDL is made to sail. Her hull is very smooth and she is shaped to cut through the waves. But of course, just like every sailing ship she heels when she sails upwind (this means that she leans over when sailing into the wind). There may also be some rocking and rolling, depending on the sea state, but this is nothing to worry about and is quite normal.
Do I need to pull the ropes?
Most of our visitors wonder how hard it is to pull the ropes. It is not hard at all and of course we will give you the choice to join in or just sit back and relax. It is completely up to you. Please let us know before boarding the ship if you have any injuries which could make pulling the ropes difficult for you.
When you join one of our sailing passages and are assigned to a watch you will be asked to pull the ropes with everybody else. We will not make you do things which you don’t feel comfortable doing and will always take into consideration your strength and health.
Do I need to climb aloft?
No, you don’t. In fact we don’t go aloft very often and most of the work is done from the deck level. The sails have to be prepared for sailing and then they need to be secured when arriving in the port, and this will be done by our crew. Other than that we do all work from the deck without climbing aloft. However if you have a head for heights you are welcome to go up to take most amazing photos to show later to your friends and family.
It is down to you to keep your own cabin tidy and clean at all times during the sailing. Please ensure that all items are safely stowed away to prevent spillage. It is not allowed to take glasses and plates below the deck and to your cabin. We also ask you to always keep drinks in bottles with a safe top.
There are electric toilets on board JDL. It is down to your courtesy to leave them tidy for your fellow guests. It is considered ‘manly’ when at sea to sit down when in the toilet and we strongly advise this. All gentlemen know that. If you have a problem with using or keeping the toilet tidy please report this to the crew immediately as once it gets out of hand everybody will suffer. Please do not put anything into the toilet which is not toilet paper. Items such as dental floss, cotton wipes, baby wipes, eye make up remover, chewing gum, feminine pads and similar will block the toilet immediately. Just remember to leave these places as tidy for others as you would like to find them yourself.
Cleaning the ship after your sailing is customary on all tall ships. You should always leave the ship and your cabin as clean and tidy as you have found it when you arrived. Of course you might think that you are on holiday and we also thought of that option for you. There is a small charge for cleaning your cabin of only €20 per cabin and €40 for galley (kitchen) and showers/toilets. If you decide that cleaning is not for you just let the crew know.
Similar to all hotels we will ask you for a small deposit before your trip or stay with us. Of course if not used and all is well it will be returned to you when you check out. This is not unusual and protects the ship and allows for all repairs to be carried out immediately before next guests arrive. Just as you would expect to happen before your arrival. If you are concerned please speak with the crew about it.
When you sign and date the booking form and crew agreement form it is understood that you have read and understood all of the above points mentioned in this above manual. If you are not sure – please ask the crew for details.