PACKING - inpakken - συσκευασία
Cash – You'll want to exchange money as soon as you can. The US Dollar is generally OK in the Caribbean but the local currency is EC (for both St. Lucia and the Grenadine Islands). You’ll use cash for the split expenses of dinner ashore, drinks ashore, things you buy, etc. Consider leaving extra wallet items at home. Bring just a backup credit card, photo ID, etc. A list of emergency contacts (Make sure you save your skipper's phone number somewhere).
If you wear them... Roel, you should definitely wear them.
T-shirts, shorts & underwear for a week. You may/may not re-wear them - consider warmth and humidity.
Multiple bathing suits (nice to alternate between wet & dry).
An old, Oxford-style dress shirt is great for sun shading.
Boat shoes - or anything comfortable with non-marking soles (sneakers are fine).
Crocs/Tevas/flip flops/dive boots – something amphibious as your feet will get wet jumping from the dinghy at shore, never mind the ever-present sloshing water in the dinghy.
Clothes for the trip home.
1 fleece/sweatshirt/jacket, and sweatpants (although you probably won’t wear them).
Something specific to sleep in that you keep salt free.
One or two sets of clothes for the big festive dinners ashore. Something that looks good even if somewhat wrinkled. If you're in a restaurant, you should be covered up (Roel).
Hats (more than one in case one goes overboard – some places will sell them, but not everywhere we’re going). A retaining strap is good.
Rash guards: The sun gets hot and although the bimini offers some shade, rash guards are highly encouraged - just ask Anastacia what happened to all her skin in Tahiti... a few favorite, stylish rash guards for women are Cynthia Rowley, J Crew, Heidi Klein. You can also find fairly inexpensive ones for both Men and Women on Amazon of course too!
Sunglasses and a retaining strap of some description (see things to consider, below). A second pair of cheap sunglasses as a backup.
Sunscreen. Lip balm with sunscreen.
Insect repellent. While you won't have mosquitos on the boat, but there are some that will appear at dusk while ashore. In the islands - they're called "no-see-ums" and they suck!
Toiletries: soap, shampoo, and conditioner. Toothbrushes - keep that breath clean... you never know who you might "get a little closer" to...(Gordon?).
Some believe you’ll use conditioner more due to saltwater than you may at home - those of us follically challenged don't worry about it that much.
Motion sickness remedies (medication, ginger products, and other solutions) if you've ever gotten seasick you will for sure on this trip.
Advil (In case you party too hard the night before).
1 pair of jeans/pants. You probably won’t wear them either. That said, you'll need 'em when you get off the plane back in NYC.
Plastic garbage bags for sorting and protecting clothes inside your bag. Easiest way to keep dry but salty yesterday’s clothes from pre-salting tomorrow’s underwear.
Masks, snorkels and fins are provided. If you have your own mask & snorkel, they will fit you better and may be more to your liking -- but seriously, who wants to bother packing that sh--.
Camera with charger.
A dry bag or Ziplock “Freezer” bags for your camera.
A small flashlight will be your friend – spare batteries.
LED headlamp - they're way more valuable than you think.
A good book – It can be nice to lie on deck and read.
MUSIC: iPod / MP3 players / Bluetooth speaker
Underwater camera / GoPro – can be fun for snorkeling.
Sailing gloves, Sailing Knife, Leatherman type tool (if you have & use them) (don’t try to take knife or Leatherman in your carry-on)
A light rain foulie. We will probably experience a few light showers.
Cell Phones and Email: Mobile phones now work in many places. However, these are remote islands. Be sure to call your carrier first and find out about travel to St. Lucia and the Grenadines.
Long Sleeve Shirts – Reiterating the earlier reference – an old, loose fitting white long sleeve shirt is great as a sun protector, and looks quite yachty. A spare will be great for a midweek rotation.
Appliances – The boats run on Direct Current, not Alternating Current, so leave your hairdryers and other devices that require standard shore-style AC behind.
Traveling Together? – If traveling with someone else, consider trading half your stuff with them before packing. That way if one bag is delayed, you at least have half your stuff for a while. Check your bags separately.
Things to avoid packing too much – there isn't a lot of storage on the boat. You’ll wear half the clothes you bring
Your expensive but not waterproof watch should stay home. Anything on your wrist will quite probably get wet during a dinghy ride. Blackberries and iPhones always end up in Davey Jones’ locker. (Ask Will Nugent)
Expensive jewelry should probably stay home, just as when sailing at home, it is all too easy to knock stones out of settings but not notice since you’re having too much fun.
Fruit or vegetables – any produce brought with you will be seized and destroyed.
Leather belts and shoes – tend to get salt stained easily
Travel Power Adapter (see above)
Rigid sided suitcases – if you have something soft-sided, bring it as there is no good place to store large rigid suitcases on board. The onshore luggage storage room is small. We usually take a soft duffle bag that has wheels and collapses flat, and can be stored under a cabin bed.
Drugs: Legal and Illegal – The islands have a zero tolerance policy and can be overzealous regarding unmarked prescriptions. If you are on prescription medication, bring it in the original prescription bottle or risk losing it. Only bring quantities appropriate for the length of stay plus minor travel delays, and again, only in marked bottles.
Inhibitions & Stress – leave them at home. Prepare to come home with a nickname, a tattoo, or an STD instead.... (just kidding on the last one).
What should you expect to purchase?
Just so there are no "gotchas", crews are expected to split the cost of the following:
- Boat Provisions
- Mooring fees
- Other miscellaneous purchases (ice from boat boys... garbage disposal)
- Group dinners
It's common courtesy for each crew member to "pick up the check" on occasion. There are generally enough opportunities to do so. All money spent will go to the boat purser who will keep track of everything spent and then will divide everything when the trip is over so that everything evens out.