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FAQS about life on the Alguita

September 14, 2009

As I’m new to the world of long-term sailing, and I imagine many of you are, I decided to put together a frequently asked questions list. It’s compiled from actual questions people asked me before I left and questions I had leading up to the trip (which I now have the answers to).

Do you get seasick?

Nope, and thankfully neither does any of the other crewmembers. We’re the first group Captain Moore has taken out that hasn’t gotten sick.

What do you eat?

Contrary to my prior beliefs, we’re not eating beans and corn out of a can every night. The galley (kitchen) is well stocked with everyday spices, exotic fruit, fresh Mahi Mahi caught by Captain Moore and my favorite-farmed sea asparagus. A few of the meals we’ve had include tostadas and quesadillas, Thai eggplant with lettuce wraps, BLATs (A=avocado) and of course, fish tacos. We keep everything cool in a small fridge, a cooler and an oversized freezer.

Jeff making a salad and Bonnie looking on. We made a lot of salads the first week while we still had plenty of fresh produce. Photo by Lindsey Hoshaw

Jeff making a salad and Bonnie looking on. We made a lot of salads the first week while we still had plenty of fresh produce. Photo by Lindsey Hoshaw

What type of ship are you on?

A 50-foot aluminum catamaran. Moore’s ship was designed by Australian ship maker Locke Crowther, and it’s hull (the body) is completely unique.

How do you go to the bathroom?

We have a head (toilet) on board, and in the same “room” (more like a tiny box), there is also a sink and a shower head. The bathroom is just big enough to turn around in and couldn’t fit more than two people. When you shower everything ends up getting wet, so you have to be creative about tying your towel and clothes to one of the handlebars near the roof. Also-during rough seas taking a shower becomes quite difficult. Standing up is hard enough and trying to undress, hold onto the railing and shampoo becomes an acrobatic feat!

The head (toilet); the tie on the left hand size comes undone and a plastic “door” unrolls that you can zip up when showering. Photo by Lindsey Hoshaw

The head (toilet); the tie on the left hand size comes undone and a plastic “door” unrolls that you can zip up when showering. Photo by Lindsey Hoshaw

How do you get fresh water?

There’s a desalinator on board that works through reverse osmosis. Yeah, I kind of get it; luckily Bill Cooper is a chemist and explained the whole process. In any case, we have fresh water to drink and for our showers.

What’s it like to live on a ship for three weeks?

Incredible. Growing up in the Arizona desert, I didn’t have much water experience before I came on this trip. I think the best I’d ever done was a few sailing classes at a sleep away camp in Minnesota when I was a kid. But the views out here are absolutely incredible. I get to see the sunset every evening, dive with Mahi Mahi and watch the changing ocean colors-from bright cobalt blue on sunny days to light silver when it rains.

And I get to learn from the Captain and Jeff about what it means to be a good sailor. And of course, I’m learning all I could ever want to know first hand about the garbage patch. This truly is a reporter’s dream: being able to meet and live with the person who discovered the garbage patch and then see it first hand.

Do you swim in the water/are there any sharks/have you seen any?

Yes; possibly; no.

A lot of people expressed concern about sharks but I really think this is fueled more by horror films and the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week than by any real experience with deep water diving. During almost every dive we see absolutely nothing but clear blue water. And I mean nothing.
You may be wondering, “but then, where is all the trash?” Well, we haven’t reached the garbage patch yet and most of the trash out here is tiny-the size of corn kernels, so we can’t see much of it.

Hope this answers most questions!

My bunk! This is where I sleep (and toss and turn during rough seas). Photo by Lindsey Hoshaw.

My bunk! This is where I sleep (and toss and turn during rough seas). Photo by Lindsey Hoshaw.

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