Life Aboard

Keeping Watch While Underway

The following was written by Sea|mester student Andy Hackett, as seen in Sea|mester’s publication The Telltale

During our sailing travels our crew is split into three different watch teams.

These teams take four-hour shifts during the day and three-hour shifts during the night. They are responsible for every aspect of the boat during their allotted times. Each watch team has rotating positions such as Watch Leader, bow watch, Helmsman, and one person in charge of checking the entire boat each hour. Checking the boat, however, is no small task, as it includes coiling up deck lines, plotting our position and course on the charts, and checking the engine room. Each person gets to rotate and perform all of these tasks during a voyage.

These teams are responsible for everything from raising the sails to docking the boat. Last week, my watch team and I docked the boat in Jamaica during the early hours of the morning, just the eight of us.
I personally think there is no better place on the boat than the bow during a shift on watch; watching the sun come up and set in one day is amazing. Our teams grow close to one another through having to sit through rain storms and late night shifts. There is nothing more beautiful than being in open ocean underneath all the stars in the sky with good company and bioluminescence flickering all around your boat.