Q : What do I need to know?
Not very much. Common sense is the key. We all wear life jackets all the time when we’re underway and I give a thorough briefing on safety considerations before we get underway. (The main one is, don’t fall over the side. No one ever has fallen overboard and we intend to keep that record clean.)
On some of our boats, if you’re taller than 6 feet, you also have to be aware of the boom, particularly when we tack. It moves pretty slowly, in fact, the real danger is walking into it
Q: Kids – what’s the minimum age?
The short answer is 10 years. I don’t even take my grandkids until they’re 10. It’s about safety.
The minimum age for taking lessons is 12.
There is no maximum age, but passengers aboard Wiley must be able to walk up four steps, grab a handhold on the boat and step across a 12 inch gap. Sancerre has no boarding ladder, though on extended trips, passengers must descend and ascend a 4-step ladder to make a head call.
Q: Drugs & alcohol ?
Drugs: absolutely forbidden by the Coast Guard. Not the crew, not passengers and we’re required to take you home and report any violations to the Coast Guard.
Alcohol – the Coast Guard doesn’t care if passengers imbibe, but if there is an incident and you are hurt, our insurance won’t cover you. It’s also a matter of common sense. Think Natalie Wood.
Q: What should I bring; what should I wear on a day sailing trip?
Bring a camera, and, no matter how warm and sunny it is at your hotel, bring a sweater or sweatshirt and a jacket. If you’ve got one, bring a hat. Bring sunscreen. Even on cloudy days, I wear SPF 50 and a hat. (By the way, I’ve already been informed that my hat is quite dorky.)
Q: What should I bring; what should I wear on an overnight cruise?
People do not usually bring enough warm clothes for day trips, but on overnights, they tend to bring more than they’ll wear during high-fashion season. So leave the tuxedos and ball gowns at home and pack for camping supplies (sans tent & cook gear): Be prepared for weather that is 10-15 degrees cooler than it is ashore. You probably won’t need shorts, you probably will appreciate having a warm sweater and windbreaker even in the summer.
Use soft-sided luggage or duffle bags. It’s easier to get aboard and it’s easier to store.
Sancerre is a big boat, but not as big as your house, condo or even a starter apartment.
We provide linens, towels, meals etc. etc. If you have additional questions about what to bring and what to leave home, just e-mail me or call 805.750.7828.
Q: What’s for dinner?
A week or so before we’re scheduled to shove off on an overnighter, we’ll confer with you about what you’d like to eat and drink. Some folks like to do some of the cooking themselves and we’re happy to move out of the galley for a spell. We have a four-burner stove, an oven and a gas barbecue and several styles of coffee maker. We have a fairly – for a boat, anyway – capacious refrigerator. Our extension cord is only a couple of feet long, so electric appliances like blenders and the microwave are only usable dockside. Check out Menus for some of our specialties.
Q: Shoes and other footwear
Just about any athletic shoe will work as will sandals with rubber soles. Flip flops are dangerous. High heels are insane.
Only if you suffer personal spontaneous combustion.
Sailing: it’s about fresh air!
Q: Mal-de-mer – seasickness
It can happen. It’s not routine, but it can happen. If you have had bouts with it before, bring your favorite medicine and take a tab about an hour before we leave. If you start to feel queasy, we can try different courses and try to smooth the ride. If you begin to feel really horrible, we can come back early. It’s important to let me know when you first start to feel badly so that we can change course, put you in a spot where you can see the horizon and try some of the other anti-seasickness tricks that we know.
Q: Can I get a sailing lesson or two?
If you want to learn a bit about sailing, just ask. My wife and daughter have cautioned me to wait until you ask. In addition to being a former strike-fighter pilot and a former journalist, I’m also a former, though unreformed teacher. My wife and daughter also told me to tell you that you can say – “OK, I know enough about that.”
Q: Will my cell phone work?
My job is to help you have the best day on the water that you can possibly have. Most of my clients are trying to distance themselves, if only for a day, from the race of rodents. I’m really tempted to placard the boat with a cell phone in a red circle with the prohibiting diagonal slash to help them in their quest for a bit of peace, a few hours of quiet.
The straight answer to your question is, yes, it will work out to several miles off shore. Sometimes we can make calls from the north shore of Santa Cruz. But only sometimes. If you’re on an overnighter, don’t make any promises to call anyone ashore.
Q: Dogs: Salty, Sly, Hatch and Canine
The first two – Salty and Sly – are typically human, though one can be a drink. Those are OK aboard our boats. Hatch dogs, well they’re what keep the hatches closed, but Rover … We love our dogs and our dogs love that we leave them ashore. Their issues are two: they don’t walk on water and therefore going for a “euphemism” is very problematical for them (and us) and they don’t like the boat’s movement. To compensate for pitch and roll, they dig their claws into the teak.
Q: Is there a bathroom?
Lucky for all of us, there is. You have to descend a nearly vertical three-step ladder to gain access to the head. There are prominent and sturdy handholds – use them. You’ll get a briefing on how the head works when you arrive. It’s not like home. And it’s a good idea to use the facilities ashore before we set out.
A word about politics and political discussion
Political discussion is always fraught, so we thought it would be good to be upfront about our politics. While we can usually agree to avoid politics on a day trip, if you’re spending the night you should know that we’re Progressives.
We’re left of center, the grandchildren of immigrants and we’re ardent about protecting the environment; but we’re not entirely sure the Democratic Party has all the right answers. We long for a Conservative Party to offer countervailing philosophy based on science, economics and logic. And one that wants to actually conserve, particularly we want a party that fights to conserve our planet.
So if it’s politics you want to talk, remember that the boat is only 45.2 feet long.
“Below Decks” is not our model
Sancerre is a 45.2 Sun Odyssey. She’s nothing like the vessels featured in “Below Decks.” That reality show is – like most other reality shows – not particularly real. It’s unscripted, but it is a set up. Our vessel is nothing like theirs and our crew – both of us – are neither young nor beautiful.
Some of the differences: We eat family style. That is, there’s one main course that our guests pick. We do meet requests for vegan and vegetarian, but that means we’re all eating vegan or vegetarian or keto.
We keep onboard drama to an absolute minimum.
Special requests. We’ll try to meet your expectations for destinations and activities, but both the Bosun and the Captain are. too busy operating the vessel to “scatter rose petals on the linen” as one almost-guest requested. We advised her to contact the Cunard Lines.
Q: What else would you like to know?
Call the Captain at 805.750.7828 to discuss any facets of your trip.