For nine years I have been sharing the Furthur Adventure with a long and diverse list of crew members. Opening the boat up to young travelers gave me experiences that most cruisers do not get. I learned about countries I will not see, cultures and traditions they brought to Furthur are still there. I also experienced a connection with younger people a childless man my age does not get in the USA. Some were brief and now forgotten, some extensive and close friends to this day, one gal was on the boat for a solid year, many for multiple months.
the first crew
Starting with friends for the first passages, the willingness to travel diminished with folks I knew, so I had to find other ways. I was astonished and pleased at the large number of young adventurous travelers who boat hop across the Pacific. My first glimpse at just how wonderful this could be, came from my two delightful Slovenian crew in Tahiti. One of the girls stayed with me all the way across the Pacific. (note we are still in touch and she is planning to go cruising with her own family now)
the girls from Slovenia
welcoming a new crew with their flag
Again, seeing my luck could run out I had the blessing of discovering findacrew.net, an online site connecting willing cruisers and eager crew. This started the next eight years of incredible experiences. To date I have had crew from 28 countries. A few have made return visits, two and three times. Furthur became infamous for her stunning young female crew members. I did have crew from all ages and genders and with a few notable exceptions, I found young females to be the most adaptable and eager to participate, so this is what I stick to. This is a common finding among cruisers.
the initiation jump
Inviting strangers on your boat is not without peril. I find a healthy communication, hard set rules and a long letter setting out expectations has been essential to success. Not everyone is cut out to be on a boat, I do tell them: Furthur is not a democracy, I am a dictator, a benevolent one I hope, but a dictator. Most grasp this concept and see that Furthur is run with their safety in mind. My "letter" has now been used by many other captains seeking crew, I share it gladly.
Life goes on after Furthur, I know of at least ten babies born to Furthur crew, now mommies. Children born to adventure and maybe the next generation Furthur crew? Life is real even in paradise, we have had two crew members go on to the great ocean in the sky.
Then four years ago it all changed, I met Donna! We still had girls come on the boat each year, with each new crew member Donna grew in her love with the cruising lifestyle and ability to contribute to the point that it is now "her boat", a good thing for Furthur's up keep for sure. One demanding German gal insisted Donna learn to cook, today she is a marvelous chef who dazzles our guests. With Donna taking more and more of the boat tasks, I was left with one real need, a dive partner. So today we seek experienced divers only. We also only need one crew as opposed to the boat loads I once had. With our changing needs and different cruising schedule, our crew needs have diminished at least for now.
Last year we had one great crew members, a spunky Oky who studied in Australia, she came with a unique Oky/Aussie accent. Her time on the boat was limited but very enjoyable, she is welcome back anytime!
a bit of boat schooling
The big change in "the crew" is that Priam is with us much more of the time, what a blessing that is! He is growing fast and learning more and more, he loves being on the boat. As much as I want him to stay a little kid and have all the joys that brings, watching him grow to a "big kid" is fun, I look forward to the days when he will do more things with me, maybe my new dive partner???
Another change is that we often have a few of Donna's beautiful sisters onboard. I find myself having no idea what is going on as they speak Bicol, their local dialect, but ahh, if they need me, they shift to English hahaha. It is always a joy to have the girls join us, I love them all.
So we enter our tenth year of the Furthur Adventure, one that has brought joy to many others and will continue to do so I hope.