FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
As our focus is teaching ocean passage making skills, we require that you have prior sailing experience and know that you enjoy sailing. We do not expect you to be an expert sailor, but we strongly recommend you complete a coastal navigation course. If you have questions regarding your present skill level, please contact us.
I plan to go cruising on my own boat. Will my specific learning goals for ocean voyaging will be met?
Our organized teaching program includes 3–6 hours per day of instruction. Each topic we teach is clearly documented in our 116-page Expedition Companion that includes checklists, forms, guidelines and procedures that can be applied specifically to your boat. We have written tests after each topic covered to ensure you are retaining the information presented.
Eliminating coffee and black tea and increasing water intake to two liters daily for 2-3 weeks before the expedition greatly reduces your chance of seasickness and dehydration. If you think you may be prone to seasickness, read our Seasickness: Avoidance and Treatment and consider following the drug recommendations. We provide each expedition member with a 1-liter Fiji Water bottle.
Eagerness to learn, thoughtfulness, ability to compromise, respect and consideration, sense of humor and ability to put safety of boat and crew first are far more important than sailing skills.
- Complete a coastal navigation course. www.nauticed.org has excellent on-line training courses on several topics besides navigation. This is very important.
- Learn to stay hydrated as hydration is a key to minimizing seasickness and fatigue.
- Improve your swimming skills if you aren’t already a strong swimmer. Consider taking up yoga which will increase your balance and safety on deck.
- Keep an open mind and be flexible.
I’ve noticed that you are very specific in asking about physical condition and exercise program of applicants. Is being in good shape that important?
It is! Ocean voyaging is more physically demanding than most people expect, even on a large, modern and comfortable boat. Expedition members frequently tell us they wished they had taken the time to exercise daily before joining us. We’ve learned that people who exercise 20-40 minutes per day, six times a week, are far better at handling ocean sailing conditions than those who don’t. Swimming and some type of stretching/balance training like yoga are among the best possible exercises in preparation for ocean voyaging.
I’m a woman, and often when I’m sailing my partner, or another man insists on “helping me” by handling the sheets and sails. Will this happen on a Mahina Expeditions?
No, it is important that each person assigned a task will be the one completing it. This is important to us.
Expedition members have joined us from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Cook Islands, Denmark, England, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Israel, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Norway, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Oman, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Tahiti and the U.S. They share a common interest in learning everything possible about ocean voyaging while exploring exotic destinations. Many lasting friendships have formed during expeditions and we are honored to have the return of many crewmembers.
No, as while underway at least two people are on deck duty watch. Headroom is 6’6” and berths are over 6’6” in length. There’s room for eight at both salon and cockpit tables. Each person has their own bunk and dedicated storage and there are two heads.
Our daily revolving duty roster includes captain, navigator, galley assistant, weather briefer, cockpit, interior, and head cleaning. Our goal is for you to understand what is involved in shipboard life so you can run your boat safely and expeditiously while ocean voyaging.
You’ll stand watch with another expedition member, alternating hand-steering for 30-minute intervals with watch standing. During the day watches are for one hour with an average of two hours off. At night underway watches are two hours in length with an average of four hours off.
Hand steering, log entries, lookout, trimming sails, navigating, checking the radar and AIS, plus monitoring the weather.
Yes, 90% of the time we will have cell coverage, however we ask that you restrict phone calls to when you’re ashore.
We have a detailed seabag checklist for you to follow and check off.
We are always in our final port 24 hours before the end of the expedition in order to clear customs and sign crew off but ask that you not schedule your return flight earlier than 8 am on the final day of the expedition. Before returning home many expedition members plan a night ashore to relax and explore.
I’ll be happy to make recommendations for best methods of travel to reach your joining and departure points.