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Zanshin's crew consists of just one person, Arnd.
Hi, I'm Arnd and I'm all the crew that Zanshin usually has! Apart from the occasional guest or friends visiting aboard, I am most often alone on Zanshin during her travels across the seas. At present, my goal is to take 3 to 5 years of time and circumnavigate the globe one passage at time. I won't do this trip in one go, but will alternate between periods of cruising and periods of returning to the “real world” in order to ensure that I don't completely lose contact. This is quite important to me, as I've met a number of permanent cruisers who will not be able to re-integrate with the mainstream of society once they opt to return to dwelling on land and my guess is that they've been a part of the cruising life too long. Rather than have to acclimate to living on land again I'll alternate between lifestyles - which has the added advantage that I can stock up on my cruising kitty between voyages.
This plan is not as adventurous as it would seem at first reading, as I'm taking the so-called “Barefoot Route” along the warm trade winds and not venturing past either the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn. At least that is currently the plan but events off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden might conspire to change my intended route and have me venture into the south. While I am not averse to company or crew, I do think that I'll be single handing much of the journey.
Probably this circumstance is a mixture of my inclinations as a bit of loner, coupled with the reality that few people have the luxury of both time and opportunity to leave “the real world” for sufficiently lengthy period of time. It is also a reality that, no matter how well one may get along on shore, life at sea in the very small circumscribed area of a boat (regardless of how many cabins it has) is very different and there are numerous stories of couples or friends who make a sea voyage and thereupon never talk to each other again. I've now met several cruising sailors who all had stories to tell about taking on crew and, almost without exception, those have been horror stories and nary a Hollywood ending amongst them.
Having a large boat is a great luxury, I can put a lot of supplies, spares and other items aboard and still have space and buoyancy to spare. Most of the cruising boats that I've been aboard are loaded to gunwales with supplies and space is at a premium, plus all of the additional stores weigh quite a bit and thereby slow down the boat.