You Asked, We Answered
We get asked a ton of questions. We’ve added the most common here to help answer all your burning questions as quickly as possible. If you don’t see something here, ask a question below and we’ll get to it as soon as we can.
If you’re interested in info around any of the Delos Crew and their history, visit The Crew page first!
Wow, what a trip it’s been to sail with so many incredibly amazing people! It’s a dimension of the trip we never thought was possible. So far we’ve have about 50 different people from all over the world join us! Be sure to check out The Crew page to see who we’ve had the honor to sail with.
That said, we do take on crew from time to time. Sometimes, it’s cool people we meet while sailing and traveling. Sometimes, it’s family and friends we’ve known for years. And sometimes we run contests to get complete strangers to come join us! It really depends on our plans for the season and if people can easily fly on and off, which isn’t the case all the time.
When we do run contests we always post them on Patreon and give our supporters there a chance to experience the life. Check here for more details!
When we were in Cape Town we decided to upgrade our old instruments with a new Maretron system that uses the NMEA 2000 protocol. It’s pretty awesome and has worked great for us in some pretty serious conditions. Not only does it give us normal stuff like wind, depth, and speed but also has a full weather station built into the wind instruments that gives us barometric pressure, temperature, and humidity. The multi function displays can be configured to show all this data over time which shows you trends graphically as your conditions change. Too cool!
We ditched our navigation laptop in favor of tablets, which we’ve used extensively for the last 12,000 miles or so. So far all is working awesome and we have a completely wireless system including all instrument data, routing, charting, and radar! First off we run Coastal Explorer on a Windows 10 tablet. This is our primary navigation and charting software when sailing offshore. It is easy, simple, and just works. One of the main attractions is it also works with TCP/IP Based radar , which allows us to view radar embedded on the charts on any PC. Since all the sailing instrument, GPS, and Radar data is broadcast over Wi-Fi this little $150.00 tablet suddenly becomes a hand held, completely portable navigation super computer. You can even do anchor watch from bed 🙂
We use the Brookhouse NMEA multiplexer to combine all the data from different systems together. It takes NMEA data from the autopilot, compass, GPS, AIS, and Maretron system and multiplexes it all together into one NMEA stream. We use the Actisense NMEA 0183 <-> 2000 converter to let our new Maretron system talk to the older Raymarine Autopilot, compass, and VHF. All the NMEA data from the navigation and boat systems are broadcast over a RS-232 Wi-FI router, allowing us to see everything on our laptops and tablets! We just grabbed the RS-232 port out of the Brookhouse multiplexor and it send all the data over Wi-Fi that way. Pretty sweet right?!?!?
Sailing around the world while filming is really tough on cameras and we’ve gone through our fair share of gear. We don’t receive any sponsorships from camera manufacturers or retailers, so know that if it’s in the list below it means we really believe it’s a good product to use! PS- All the links below are from Amazon, so if you do happen to purchase something we get a little kickback for our beer fund ? This info can also be found on the Best Vlogging Gear We Trust page.
- Our first source of information us usually www.noonsite.com. Just head there and choose the country in question. If you head to the section titled “Formalities” you’ll find a pirates treasure of all sorts of info from visa rules to the check in procedure to recent security problems. This site is updated constantly by cruisers and kept pretty up to date. In the news section you can find stories and incidents, both good and bad, that other cruisers have posted. Keep in mind this information is not moderated so your own experiences may vary of course!
- The second source of info we really depend on is local cruiser knowledge. Sailors are a very helpful bunch and if you happen to meet someone that’s been to the destination you are considering they will certainly talk your ear off if you ask a few questions. With the spread of mobile data we’ve found private Facebook groups to be growing in popularity. Sometimes these groups are closed for security purposes but after joining you’ll be linked in with boats that have just passed through the area and happy to answer questions and give you up to the minute tips on marinas, anchoring, provisions, etc.
A group we found very helpful for the Indian Ocean was https://web.facebook.com/groups/IndianOceanCrossing/.
- For piracy and other reports here are a few websites we find very interesting:This website gives a map showing past and recent reported attempts on vessels at sea. https://icc-ccs.org/piracy-reporting-centre/live-piracy-map.
- The Office of Naval Intelligence also posts a weekly piracy report and forecast that takes into account known boat types operating in an area combined with current reports and forecasted weather. Just click on the latest weekly release! http://www.oni.navy.mil/Intelligence-Community/Piracy/
Actually it happens much less than you think onboard Delos although we’ve heard some interesting stories from other people. Here are a few of the things we’ve found helpful to long term crew happiness J
- Set expectations upfront – We always let people know this is not a chartered luxury yacht, nor is it a massive cruise ship with crew to cater to your needs. We always tell potential crew you will do all the same work as us. You will cook, you will clean, and you will stand watch. You will do dishes, scrub toilets, and take your turn for night watches.
- Set Watch Schedule – When at sea we have a set watch schedule that runs 24 hours a day and alternates. That way there is no question who is responsible and the rotation gives people a set expectation for when they can relax, watch movies, sleep, and most importantly prepare for their next watch. You can find a sample of our watch schedule here.
- Set Cooking Schedule – We make sure that everyone has a turn in the galley on Delos, and when it’s your turn to cook you do lunch and dinner. You’re also responsible for cleaning the galley that day. That way there’s no ambiguity if it’s your day or not. If it isn’t your day just kick back and enjoy J You can find a sample of our cooking schedule here.
- Set Cleaning Schedule – Just like cooking everybody cleans on Delos. We have a set cleaning day and the tasks rotate week to week to make sure everyone has a chance to clean the heads J You can find a sample of our cleaning schedule here.
- The Love Circle – Since we have a larger crew on Delos we set aside an hour once a week to site and discuss how people are doing. No cameras, no recording, and no judgment. This is the time to say if someone is leaving a mess in the galley or using too much water. Getting things out in the open is crucial before they grow bigger in the confined area that is a sailboat.
This one is a very difficult question to answer because there is no right and no wrong, sort of like asking if you’d rather live in the city or the suburbs, in a house or high-rise apartment. It has a lot to do with the type of sailing you want to do and where you are going to cruise. There are monohulls I wouldn’t take across and ocean and the same goes for cats. For some great info straight from the mouth of cat owners we’ve interviewed check out this playlist of videos:
That being said the type of cruising we do is better suited towards a mononull. The ability for us to carry lots of gear and provisions is something that a similar sized catamaran just can’t match, couple this with the way the upwind performance and ability to handle heavy weather, both areas where it’s very hard to beat a monohull. If we were to replace Delos we would look for another mono, perhaps a little larger and more suited to high latitude expeditionary style sailing.
Completely depends on what type of work you do of course. Nearly everyplace we cruise now has cheap and available data on 3G and 4G networks. If you have a job where you can work remotely and then occasionally sync up project and or emails when you get signal this works best. We found stretches of weeks without internet access in some countries, and others where we got a great connection anchored in the middle of nowhere. If you need email and SMS all the time check out the Iridium Go! Device with the unlimited data plan. It’s slow but you can keep connected with text based emails anywhere, anytime. There is no denying that working while cruising will affect your experience, but on the other hand it’s also nice to have something to intellectually stimulate you as well.
Another option is working in the off-season. For example when we stopped in New Zealand and Australia to evade the South Pacific cyclone seasons we worked on land, put some money in the cruising kitty, and set out for the next season afterwards. Of course this totally depends on having a coveted skill set in the lands you are visiting.
Our average over the years has been about $500.00 US per person per month. This covers food costs, tasty beverages, general fees and travel expenses, fuel for Delos, and other odds and ends. This does not include boat and maintenance costs because those vary so much. There is a lot of great info out there on this topic though. A few awesome sources are:
Our most valuable items:
- Good fitting mask, snorkel, and fins!
- A rugged, tough, reliable dinghy for exploring.
- Lot’s of solar panels to keep all our gear topped up. We can entirely run Delos of solar and wind power now…
- Heavy duty fishing gear- mostly hand lines. Check out the Required Reading in the Cruising Life section and search for the “Cruisers Handbook of Fishing” to get educated properly!
- A good, strong, and powerful waterproof headlamp.
- Waterproof, Bluetooth speaker for those chill beach days.
What turned out to be a waste?I installed a nice Wi-FI booster and antennae at great expense. What we found is that 3G and mobile data so much wider spread we never used it…..