Information for friends joining us on Arkyla

For those of you who maybe haven't sailed before, this page gives some idea of what to expect onboard, what to bring (and what not to bring), and some tips that should help make your stay with us as fun and enjoyable as possible.

For the more seasoned sailors amongst you, as you know every captain does things in a slightly different way.  Also remember that Arkyla, as a bluewater cruising yacht, is very different from a typical 45' charter-type boat you may have crewed or skippered before; here you will find some of the processes we have established over time to match the needs and behaviour of the boat.

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The boat and life onboard

Arkyla is built to cross oceans; her design places less emphasis on speed and internal space in favour of a boat that will handle big seas and sustain long-term living at remote destinations.  She is very sea-kindly which means that she will plough through big seas rather than slam against large waves, and has a flexible sail plan to account for all weathers; her rig is set up so as the boat can easily be handled by a team of two.  An equivalent production boat of this size, typical of the charter market, will look to squeeze in 8 people; we are fitted out to accommodate 4 in just two cabins, each with its own head (bathroom and toilet for you landlubbers) - this also means there is no competition for either deck or cockpit space for either sun or shade!  The Regina 43 is a deck saloon; this means that when the sun goes down, or if the heavens open, we can sit inside in comfort but still see all that is going on around us rather than being confined to the depths of the hull as is typical of most designs.  Arkyla has a great galley and an adjoining snug saloon in addition to the deck saloon so there is ample space to find some solitude if needed!

 

Deck Saloon
Galley
Snug Saloon
Master Cabin

Safety.  We will give you a full safety brief when you come on board; this will cover things such as moving about the boat without endangering yourself, and what to do if there were a fire or other such emergency onboard.  We have a full set of lifejackets equipped with personal locator beacons, a liferaft, medical kits, and other equipment to deploy in the event of a Man Overboard (MoB) situation.  Generally speaking, if you maintain the mantra 'one hand for yourself and one hand for the boat' you will be more than fine.  The pdf in the viewer below is an updated version of the waterproof Crew Cockpit Guide that is on the boat; it would help if you can find time to look at this before joining us (you can either download it or use the tool icon at the top of the viewer window to expand to full page to read online) so that you will be vaguely familiar with our safety systems,  and some of the techniques we use to operate the boat, before we fully brief you onboard - it will also help you to think of questions regarding things you may not be familiar with..

Sea Sickness.  Hopefully you will experience nothing but clear skies, light breezes, and gentle seas during your time with us however even paradise can occasionally get hit by less than ideal weather and seasickness can strike anyone down; some are more prone to it than others with different conditions affecting individuals in different ways - for some long, gentle rollers does the damage whilst for others it is steep ocean seas.  The good news is that most affected people do eventually get their sea legs after a couple of days.  Generally the best place to be is on deck looking at the horizon; try not to do things like reading.  Taking charge of the wheel can often help too.  If you are cold up on deck, the next best place to be is horizontal in your bunk.  You may want to consider remedies to bring with you; if the forecast looks particularly grim I usually take a Kwell or Stugeron as I find these work well for me when needed.  Jenny finds these make her drowsy, so she tends to use a prescription patch and sometimes uses seabands.  Different things work for different people.  Most of the time seasickness is not an issue, but it is best to come prepared just in case.

Sailing.  You can do as little or as much as you like when it comes to sailing the boat; generally though the more involved you are the more fun you will get out of the trip!  Once the boat is going there is generally not a lot to do save keep a lookout and tweak the sails if needed - we often let the autopilot do all the hard work!  There is a proper snake pit of rope (called either sheets, warps, halyards, or guys depending on its function) throughout the boat, on the deck and up the mast, to both keep Arkyla either moving at sea or stationary in harbour and this can be daunting when first eyed; just beware tripping or getting fingers trapped and, if in doubt, just ask if you are unsure as to what needs to be eased or tightened if we ask you to help in any way.  If you'd prefer to just sit back and relax, that's fine too - it's your holiday!

End of the day.  Generally, where location and conditions allow, we will try to anchor.  Lying to a hook provides the true cruising experience, removes you from the noise and crowds, and allows us to explore local coves and beaches in the dinghy or paddleboards, swim and snorkel in crystal clear waters, or rig the hammock from the spinnaker pole to relax in blissful tranquility.  It is also considerably cheaper than heading to a marina where, in high season, some Mediterranean ports may charge upwards of €200 a night to park a boat of our size!  Some cruising grounds, the Greek Ionian for example, are ideally suited to mooring up in traditional villages - in essence, we adapt to meet the local conditions.  There is of course a downside to removing ourselves from the bustle and expense of a marina; access to power and water - these are the two most precious commodities for a boat captain and it is the area where we need your understanding:

Power:  We have invested heavily in equipping Arkyla with renewable solar and wind systems.  Nonetheless, we still have to be very careful in how we use electricity onboard to ensure we maintain the energy equation of what comes in matching what goes out - this of course will change depending on cloud and wind on any particular day.  The boat itself needs power for essential services such as the interior and anchor lights, navigation equipment, and radios.  The surplus we can use to charge iPhones and other such gadgetry.  What this does mean however is that we must be conservative in our consumption; only switch on lights where and when needed and, if you do need to charge an appliance, do this during the day whilst we are effectively making power rather than adding to the draw from battery reserves at night.  We do have an inverter onboard to charge laptops or camera batteries, but this is a very inefficient way to use battery reserves; best is to consider what you really need for your stay with us, and to bring spare charged batteries wherever possible.  If needed we can charge the boat batteries via the alternator of the main engine; this is fine for when making way under motor, but if at anchor is noisy, burns diesel reserves and, most importantly, is damaging to the long-term health of the engine as it is not being run under load.

Water:  This is the other commodity that we must use with care; running out means a diversion to a marina to refill tanks which can both interrupt cruising plans and be expensive.  We will tend to use bottled water for drinking and cooking, and the tank reserves for showers and the like.  We do hold up to 800 litres which is plenty for a couple of weeks of cruising as long as simple precautions are taken.  The 'navy shower' routine involves the process of 'wet-lather-rinse' using only as much water as is necessary to get the job done.  The same applies to washing up in the galley; try not to fill the bowl when half or quarter will do, and only rinse sparingly where necessary.

What to bring

Below is a list of things to consider bringing:

  • Luggage - please only bring soft luggage as there is literally no space onboard to store any hard suitcases.

  • Daypack - suitable for exploring beaches, towns or countryside; to protect cameras whilst in the dinghy you might want to consider a waterproof bag.

  • Light rain jacket.

  • Seasickness remedies (see paragraph above).

  • Headtorch.

  • Sun hat.

  • Long-sleeved shirt/blouse to protect against sun

  • Toiletries (shampoos etc that are marine eco-friendly if possible).

  • Sunscreen (matine friendly such as those available through Green People and sanctioned by the Marine Conservation Society).

  • Camera and charged spare batteries; 12v charger and USB lead if applicable.

  • Sunglasses.

  • Water bottle.

  • Swimwear.

  • 2x towel - one for the beach, one for the boat (trek towels that are compact and dry easily are ideal).

  • Casual wear suitable for dining in restaurants onshore.

  • Non-marking footwear (specific sailing shoes aren't necessary but shoes, such as Allbirds, that will provide grip without harming the teak deck will help you avoid stubbing toes) - no black soles or high heels to be worn on the boat please!

  • Wet shoes and rash vest for snorkeling, paddleboarding, etc.

  • Fleece or jumper.

  • Passport.

  • Shorts, T-shirts/Polo shirts (collars can be good protection from the sun) for sailing and exploring ashore.

  • iPad and/or Kindle with ready downloaded films or books

Additional Items for offshore passages

Recommended additional items if you are joining us to crew on offshore passages:

  • Sleeping bag (we won't use boat sheets during the passage).

  • foul weather gear (jacket and trousers).

  • Sailing boots (that will provide grip on deck and keep your feet dry)

  • Headtorch with red light option to protect night vision during darek-hour watches (such as Exposure R.A.W Pro)

  • Clear filter ski goggles.

  • Sailing knife or leatherman.