At sea the crew has to keep watch 24 hours a day in 3 to 4 hour shifts. The guests are always welcome to join in.
The tasks during watch are to operate the ship, keeping track of the ships position in the logbook and keeping the right course.
Usually the autopilot helps with that but sometimes the ship has to be steered by hand. We have to watch out for reefs and other ships and check the fishing lines regularly.
If we navigate under sails the watchmen have to check them once in a while for rips or if they need to be adjusted because of changing winds. In some cases other crewmembers have to be mobilized for larger sail maneuvers.
If we travel by engine the watchmen have to check the engine room every hour. They have to pump diesel into the engines tank, oil the engine, check the temperatures and grease the propeller shaft.
If one of the generators or the water-maker is running those have to be checked too.
It is very important to have an eye on the other people on deck, to make sure that they are safe and that nobody goes overboard. If the latter happens the man-over-board-maneuver has to be initiated (which never happened so far!)
Depending on the number of people on board the time between shifts is from 6 to 12 hours. Experienced sailors, who know exactly what to do, team up with newbies. There are no alcoholic beverages allowed while sailing!
We always encourage guests to join the watches, even during the night.
You will often be rewarded with seeing dolphins or whales, shooting stars, impressive weather phenomena, amazing starry sky and getting an inside look what it really means to sail on a ship like Stahlratte. You miss all that if you just stay below decks all the time.