The entire crew of the Tocayo for the Atlantic crossing met Monday morning to hash out some details and start thinking about our trip together.  The crew consists of Ron, Zohar, Simona, Andrew and myself.  We will have a sort of democracy where all the licensed skippers are equal but Ron, who has the most experience, is the most equal.  I don’t have that license and so I’m sort of on the bottom of the totem pole.  It seems like we are all going to be like a bunch of friends out for a good time, though.  Whatever assignments or management I have to take on in order to make it a nice, friendly trip for everyone is well worth it.  

Simona is a woman in her fifties who crewed with Zohar on a boat delivery through the Mediterranean.  She has a lot more sailing experience than that and she now runs a charter boat out of the marina in Herzliya.  Several people have said that she is motherly which should be nice once we get out there away from creature comforts.  Her English may be the weakest among the crew, but it’s still plenty good.

Ron is also older than the rest of us, but I place him in his forties.  He speaks English very well.  He’s made several ocean crossings and has tons of experience besides.  His boat, Kosinus, is moored on the same dock as Tocayo.  He spends most of his time in Herzliya also.  He’s ben helpful in getting the boat registered under an American flag.  (That’s important because the U.S. is hated less than Israel in most places).  He seems like he’ll have a lot of stories to share as we make the voyage.

Zohar is Andrew’s friend in the marina as well as a seasoned sailor.  She and Andrew met in the skipper course that they were taking at the school in the marina.  I think I’ve described her here before, so I’ll let that stand.  She has a lot of skills in fixing the physical parts of boats (masts, rigging, carpentry) which will be an added bonus to her presence on board.  She’s leaving with us for the first leg and then sh’ll come back on in the Canaries.

Ron and Simona both suggested that we do some practice sails and possibly meet up with them in the Med for some sailing before the main event.  A practice sail in Israeli waters is fine, but the logistics, timing, and even atmosphere of meeting up with them in the Med is much less favorable.  It is already hard with some of the people who will be coming on and off in various places.  The boat can get crowded quite quickly. 

We have started making reservations for the very first parts of the trip (Israel to Greece).  Once we get to the Canary islands, it will be like round two as we provision and refit the boat.  We imagine that we’ll be putting her through her paces on the Med and so that time there will b a chance to fix up anything we break on the way.