Life Aboard

What’s in Your Sailor’s Bag?

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

In one of the many emails you receive as a Sea|mester Argonaut, there is a packing list.

This list is very specific, and if you pack according to its advice you will have all your general needs covered during the trip. Some items exist, however, that are more necessary and more coveted than others. Let’s look behind the scenes to see exactly what we desire most in our bags.


A red, non-sudsy body wash. This is a mandatory item on the packing list we all received from Sea|mester, and for good reason. This is a disinfecting wash – more specifically, the soap surgeons use to wash-up before surgery. You cannot use it with any other product or else its active ingredients will fail to work properly. One shower with Hibiclense and any and all bacteria, really anything on your body, will be killed in an instant. You’re going to covet this if any funny little infections try spreading around the boat; It will keep you clean and germ-free.

Quick-Dry Towel/Chamois

The official packing list mentions only one towel, but you may want a regular towel for sitting on the beach. Additionally, no sailor’s bag should be without a quick-dry towel. Every Argonaut quickly discovers that hanging wet clothes on the life lines does not always get every thing completely dry, especially if a lovely Caribbean rain decides to make an appearance. A normal towel may never be completely dry on the trip, unless we get very lucky with a completely dry day, or it is washed and dried on shore. Quick-dry towels become every showerer’s best friend, and a dry towel is a very nice comfort, especially after a chilly night dive.


You are going to want a water bottle and a clip! Argonauts will sweat more on this trip than they ever have before, and hydration is extremely important. Being dehydrated during any part of the trip is extremely unpleasant, especially while fighting seasickness and fatigue underway. I personally suggest a nalgene, which holds an ample amount of water and will not dent. The clip is a very important accessory as well, as it can be tempted to roll overboard or be lost if it is not hung in the cockpit or strapped to a life preserver.


The craving Argonauts experience could easily be compared to those of a pregnant woman. While aboard this vessel, one will crave junk food like never before. Dominos are a nice off-brand Oreo, but tea times have become a boat favorite in terms of Oreo substitutes. They come in a of couple of flavors: Double chocolate, or chocolate with vanilla filling. Just plain biscuits are delicious snacks as well. Personally, my sail bag is stocked with Specula’s cookies. Snickers are a nice choice, alongside Cadbury’s chocolate bars. Also, tea or coffee if that’s what you prefer. All of these things will taste even better during watch at two in the morning, and serve as a great way to try to stay awake. Eating while sleeping doesn’t really work, but all other times are prime for snacking while aboard Argo.