When you’re working on a superyacht, it’s inevitable that at some point you’ll need to take part in watch duties, whether it be keeping watch while underway or an anchor watch at night or day. Each yacht will have its own watch schedule but generally watches last 3-4 hours either in pairs or alone. Day watches can go by pretty smoothly as there are usually things going on and other crew members about, but when the sun drops, things can get very quiet.
So, what to do in between routine checks that are productive, entertaining, and keep you awake, alert, and ready for anything that may be thrown your way during a watch? We’ve put together some ideas to help you make yacht watch duties fun without losing focus and keep you going through those long, dwindling hours.
Get Studying with Online Yachting Courses
What could be more productive than adding more knowledge to your repertoire instead of twiddling those thumbs whilst on watch? Doing an online course will keep your brain focused so that you’re adding more skills to your yachting CV or future career and staying ready for any unplanned events that could occur on your watch.
RYA offers a variety of online courses targeted at deck crew that will add valuable skills to your CV, improving future career prospects and preparing you for future exams. Their online courses include Essential Navigation and Seamanship, Day Skipper Theory, Yachtmaster Ocean Theory, and the Marine Radio SRC Course and Exam.
You can also check out non yachting specific courses from online colleges such as New Skills Academy who offer hundreds of online courses. Whatever you’re interested in or passionate about, you’ll find a course to match. New Skills Academy offers over 700 courses, including diplomas in floristry, nutrition, photography, social media, first aid, languages, and event management; the list is endless. Courses can be purchased individually, or learners can take advantage of unlimited learning for £99 for 12 months.
If you’re looking to get serious about studying, then The Open University offers a wealth of degree-level online courses. Learning can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. They also offer foundation degrees, certificates of higher education, and Open University Certificates.
Learn About the Night Sky Above You
If you’re scheduled for a night watch and you’re blessed with clear skies, then the simple act of stargazing is a great way to pass the time. Download the Night Sky app and point your phone to the sky to see all the constellations, solar systems, individual stars, comets, planets, satellites, and even space junk, with detailed information concerning each one. Learn about planetary orbits, which stars make up each constellation and its history, and faraway galaxies.
Educational TED Talks for Yacht Crew
The TED: Ideas Worth Spreading app is completely free and offers thousands of informative and inspirational talks, lectures, and videos about a myriad of topics. TED will keep you entertained and informed on important matters as videos provide fresh perspectives from industry experts and a chance to learn about fresh new ideas across a multitude of topics. Videos can last anywhere from 5 minutes to over an hour and cover topics such as ‘A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit’, ‘NFTs, the Metaverse and the Future of Digital Art’, and ‘How We’re Turning Carbon Waste Into Jet Fuel (and Everything Else)’.
Become a Bi-lingual Yachtie
For superyacht crew, it’s always beneficial to be able to speak more than one language. Apps such as Babbel and Duolingo are a great way to start learning new languages. These apps use simple and entertaining games to make learning a new language fun. Babble focuses more on conversational language and uses a more classroom-based approach, whereas Duolingo uses games and repetition to help you memorise words and phrases. Discover which one works best for you and use your watch time to learn a whole new language.
Audible Books That Do the Reading for You
Books are amazing but reading them requires your whole and undivided attention. Audible has a vast selection of audiobooks at your fingertips, allowing you to devour books while still being able to multitask (and keep your eyes on the horizon during watch duties). Membership includes one title per month plus unlimited access to Audible Original titles. Sign up now to receive a free 30-day trial.
Put Your Yachting Travels to the Test
Fancy yourself a geography buff? Think you’ve traveled the world over and would recognise all the major landmarks? Could you figure out your location if you were dropped in the middle of nowhere? Geoguessr is a google maps game that will put your geography knowledge to the test. You’ll be dropped onto a random google street view location, and you need to pinpoint your exact location on a larger map to win points. Explore the maps in street view mode to gather clues at your location and then take a guess. Play alone or with friends in this fun geography-based game.
We hope some of these suggestions help make your next watch a little more fun and keep you awake and feeling alert. We’d love to hear about anything that you do during watch duties to keep you entertained and ready for action. Let us know by tagging us on socials or emailing us at [email protected]. And if you fancy some retail therapy you can always check out our superyacht inflatables and start planning how to max the fun on your next guest trip.
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