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 Captains to consider when planning for and supporting each cruise.
Before the Cruise
- Promote. Promote the cruise by submitting a write-up that may be included in the club newsletter, emails to the MSSA Google Group, and posts on the MSSA Facebook page.
- Plan Early. Plan early before the season starts. Suggestions include making contact with the marinas and yacht clubs, talking to members that have previously visited the destination, or contacting the local Chamber of Commerce. 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. Each family will handle any necessary payments individually, so the Cruise Captain(s) need not collect funds or hold reservations under their name and credit card.
- Keep Track. Maintain a list of members planning to attend the cruise, including boat names.
- Party Planning. Traditionally, upon arrival at the destination port we have a modest arrival celebration/cocktail party. Participants are expected to provide their own beverages. Plan and purchase provisions in advance. Consider the cruise participants (e.g. consider the needs of our younger members), number of people expected, and available funds from the club. Keep receipts as you will be reimbursed for your expenditures. Be reasonable with your expenditures; remember we have a fixed budget ($10 per boat). Any questions should be directed to the Fleet Captain.
During the Cruise
- Weather. Consider weather conditions on the day of departure and if necessary, suggest an alternate last minute change of plans or cancellation if the weather and seas are too threatening.
- Heading Out. Try to depart from Mt. Sinai as a group. Use VHF channel 68 to communicate with the fleet at the scheduled departure time and try to account for all those who signed up for the cruise.
- Contact with Boats. Maintain contact with the fleet. To ensure safety, we suggest either contacting the fleet 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 ensure everyone is aware of the group's departure time. If necessary, due to severe wind and/or sea conditions, consider delaying departure another day.
After the Cruise
- The Experience. Share the experience of the cruise with the rest of our membership by submitting an article for the newsletter shortly after the cruise; include the names of all the boats that participated.
- Reimbursement. Submit receipts in a timely manner to the Treasurer for allowed expenditures.