A safe and enjoyable cruise depends upon the elements of good planning and communication. To promote these elements, we offer the following guidelines for Cruise Participants to consider when planning to join each cruise.
Before the Cruise
- Communicate your Intent. Notify the Cruise Captain of your intent to participate in the cruise as early as possible, and keep the Cruise Captain advised of any changes in your plans.
- Plan Early. Plan early well in advance of the date of the cruise. Contact the destination marina/yacht club for docking/mooring reservations, talk to members that have previously visited the destination, and study area charts to gain a clear understanding of the route and any potential hazards to navigation. Check the tide tables for the dates of the cruise to times of high and low tides, and fair and foul currents. Check the MSSA website for destination information as well, and submit any suggestions for additional information we might include.
Confirm cruise details such as departure time, availability of dockage/mooring, and costs involved. You will be responsible for making any necessary payments yourself; the Cruise Captain(s) will not collect funds or hold reservations on your behalf.
- Keep a Weather Eye. Monitor weather forecasts, especially as the cruise date approaches, to be aware of any possible adverse wind or sea condition. Communicate any concerns you may have to the Cruise Captain, and suggest possible contingency plans in case of inclement weather.
- Party Preparation. Traditionally, upon arrival at the destination port we have a modest arrival celebration/cocktail party. Normally the Cruise Captain will provide food for the party, but participants are expected to provide their own beverages, and for some cruises participants may be asked/encouraged to provide a dish as well, so plan accordingly.
During the Cruise
- Weather. As the skipper of your yacht you are solely responsible for its safety and that of your crew. Consider weather conditions on the day of departure and if you deem the weather and seas to be too threatening, notify the Cruise Captain of your intent to delay your departure or abandon the cruise. If you have any ideas regarding an alternate plan for the cruise, feel free to suggest them to the Cruise Captain.
- Heading Out. Try to depart from Mt. Sinai as a group. Use VHF channel 68 to communicate with the Cruise Captain and other yachts in the fleet at the scheduled departure time.
- Contact with Boats. Maintain contact with the Cruise Captain and the rest of the fleet. To ensure safety, we suggest either checking in on VHF channel 68 the first 10 minutes after the hour every hour or by visual contact. It may not be necessary to initiate voice contact if radio communications are monitored and it is obvious that everyone is fine. If contact cannot be established on channel 68, try hailing on channel 9 or 16.
- Returning. On the day of the return trip home, consider weather conditions and confirm the group's planned departure time. If necessary, due to severe wind and/or sea conditions, consider delaying departure another day.
After the Cruise
- The Experience. Share any photos of the cruise with the rest of our membership, and provide any inputs you may have to the Cruise Captain for his/her Cruise Report.
- Harbor Information. Help us improve our Harbor Information pages on the club web site by suggesting any additional information or insights you think would be of interest for future cruises. You can submit your recommendations either by contacting your Cruise Captain or by email via the Contact Us page.