The 3 ‘S’s (Standby, Squall & Silence)
Standbys – Two crew from an off-watch are scheduled as standbys to assist the on-watch when required. The standbys will go off watch as normal but are the first two people to be woken up by the on-watch if more hands on deck are required. As such, they are expected to be on deck within a minute or two. Once a standby has been “activated”, a new crew member will take over as the subsequent standby, and it continues to rotate in this fair manner.
I experienced my first standby activation at 4 in the morning (sad, I know) to help with the Yankee 1 (the biggest Yankee sail) drop as a squall hit us in the dark. To be honest, my first standby did not come as a surprise as the boat was heeling more than 45 degrees. A minute or two later, one of the on-watch crew was calling the standbys and I was pretty much ready.
Once the squall had passed the whole sea depressed into a dead calm, and we struggled to catch whiffs of air to make progress on the fleet. I hated these windless moments, it slowed our progress to the point that our arrival to Singapore just kept slipping through our fingers. Some of us were starting to wonder if Singapore was this mystical place that doesn’t exist.
With such light wind conditions, we had no choice but to pole out “Wendy” our wind seeker while keeping our Yankee hoisted. At one point, we had all three sails (wind seeker, yankee and mainsail) up in a desperate attempt to scrap any minuscule breeze.
wondering if sufficient farts would propel the boat forward…