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frequently asked questions

--What amount of work and maintenance is expected of me?
SudoreBarlow 36
You will be expected to participate in your share of normal daily chores such as cleaning your cabin, wash dishes, floors and bathroom. Working to maintain the boat is in everyone's interest and a great way to learn new skills. Good crew is always looking for ways to fix and improve things, however, you will not be forced to shine steel or wax the hull all day long under the fierce sun, unless you wish to do it!

--What food will we be eating aboard?
We usually split a big shopping when in a city, then have a kitty for small purchases of fresh stuff, bread etc. We all put in a certain amount in the kitty until it runs out. Simple. We try to patronize local markets.
Chocolate, snacks, sodas, alcohol are personal choices, so you'll have to purchase them on your own. We have meals together and at the same hours, for logistic reasons it cannot be otherwise, people used to snack at random times will have to adapt to that.
I am often asked a figure of what the food expenses will be, usually anywhere between 200/300 Euros a month per person is usually more than sufficient, but this is a general idea, not a set rate (and it does not include diesel).
Vegetarians are welcome as long as you can eat fish, eggs and cheese -no vegans-.
We make our own yoghurt daily, can our own sauces, jams and stews with an eye to always try to get the healthiest, seasonal, pesticide/preservative-free produce. Not only healthier and tastier way to eat, but cheaper too!

--Computers and cameras
The boat has now 3 x 80w solar panels and a 260 ah battery bank. Charging cameras and mp3 players is no problem anytime, while running of computers is subject to other power needs, especially during passages. Computers, telephones and other gear present aboard is for personal use and not for sharing with the crew. The Iridium satellite phone we carry aboard is for boat emergencies and personal use.

--Seasickness, health and fitness
Seasickness is often underestimated as a problem by potential crew: it is by far the mayor reason why you may find yourself very unhappy to be aboard and spoil everyone's time in the process. Although some people are able to control it, or suffer from it only in extreme situations, those suffering from seasickness whenever aboard any type of craft are strongly advised to stick to other ways of traveling. Medications treating seasickness often do not work, and in all cases it is unrealistic to take seasickness medication for months at a time. Many people think the main stress of living aboard is in the sailing part proper, while in reality there are a myriad other physical challenges your body will have to cope with: from the heat and occasional discomfort, to climbing up and down shaky things (dinghies, ladders etc.), being agile and having a considerable amount of balance in your legs is quite important for you to function and be aboard safely. Heavily overweight and/or out of shape people are not suitable to our style of boat and routes.

--Daily life and passages
Since Keturah is a participatory experience and not a packaged vacation, not a youth hostel, etc. you will be required to share in all the aspects of living aboard (setting up table, cleaning, washing, tidying up etc.). It is expected of you to respect -be kind to- the boat gear and the space you will be either occupying and/or sharing. Everyone's goal is to get the boat moving, so if you slouch and just hang on you're prolonging the boring part of necessary work for others. The boat's needs always come before yours.
When doing overnight sailing or passages you will be assigned a watch. A watch is a certain amount of hours in which you will have to steer the boat and keep a lookout for other boats and other possible random dangers. Whether you are seasick or scared of the dark, you can't be excused from this duty, since other people can not be expected to do double duty to cover for you. You will not be required to take important decisions, the skipper or someone competent will be available day and night.

--Dates, itineraries and destinations
Paolina Borghese
Clearly, a boat depends on several factors when deciding where and when to move: Seas, winds, weather, repairs, provisioning, information on locations obtained along the way, desirability or non desirability of locations, the general mood and desires of the whole crew etc. A boat is the worst place where to expect a planned route with dates/destinations being respected, so you must be flexible with time and dates.


--I need to know more before I can make the decision to join.
I always expect new crew to read the books on seamanship
aboard Keturah. You can definitely learn a lot, although all of these things will not give you an ultimate insight, as all situations differ from one another, boat by boat and aboard sometimes minute by minute. There is no replacement to getting on a plane, getting to the boat and doing it, rather than dreaming on a river of emails. For some it works great while others find out it's just not their thing, that's life. In all cases when aboard, it is up to you to apply yourself to learning by looking and listening to the more experienced people, it is up to you to be proactive in the learning and observing the workings of the boat and cooperating in the daily chores. I cannot spoon feed you with all the notions required, neither make you acquire through talking the skills and confidence that can only develop through practice, time aboard, common sense, a can-do attitude and a natural curiosity for learning.

--It sounds cheap/cool, so I'll go for it!
 Only commitment and desire to do this experience will make you enjoy it. If your goals are to impress someone, to prove your toughness, or other motives than learning&experiencing in full what cruising on a boat is all about you will likely end up either not fitting in or disappointed. As ugly as it may sound sailing in offshore waters isn't for the faint hearted and does require a high level of commitment for the experience in itself, since it is unlike any other form of travel you may have experienced before.

--References and costs

I feel justified in asking a money contribution, though people with no experience in boating/crewing, while doing research and looking for a crew position on the Internet, might be induced to think differently. This is not a commercial enterprise, (and least of all a moneymaking/profitable commercial enterprise), therefore if you do not agree with the concept and/or the costs presented here it is no point arguing it to us, if you don't like what you see here you can surely find another boat.