Join On Board

We are not an everyday holiday cruise and have a somewhat different schedule as well. We will be working with a lot of Dive Centers, Charter companies and NGOs in the upcoming season making our schedule a bit shifty at times. But it also means we will stay in the locations we visit for a few days before setting sail again, so some patience will be needed but it also means a great opportunity to get to know the area, go diving, snorkelling and explore amazing islands.

Positions available on board!

Certain things apply for everyone on board, while other tasks are more specific to the person and the background.
However: Everyone on board is expected to help out with everyday tasks, like cooking, washing dishes, keeping the boat clean and in good shape as well as the obvious manoeuvres whenever applicable.

Furthermore, everyone will have to pay into a “Boat fund” – this it eh money used for fuel, food shopping, immigration fees and alike. All those costs are shared in equal parts across the entire crew (including the owner of the boat and the skipper). In addition to this, we would very much appreciate it if interested/joining people could also sign up as Patrons in order to support our project and make sure we can actually keep doing what we are doing. The donations make sure that we can keep our boat in ship shape and continue our work!

Join us as a…

Before You Join on Board

Before joining our expeditions please do have a close look at our social media appearances, more particular the YouTube channel to get an idea what you might be getting yourself into!

Also: If you like the work we are doing, please do share our content with friends and family and consider signing up to support the project in the future! We do run 100% by donations – even though the majority of them is from the founder at this point – forcing us to lose focus of the project on a yearly basis.

As stated on various occasions there are always costs involved when running a boat – be it for research or pleasure. But from our experience in the last years Independence (when fully staffed) runs on about 1500 Euros a week, meaning about 250 Euros per person and week of pure running costs on a fully booked boat. To even things out a little bit and allow for not full boat weeks we, therefore, ask for a donation of 350 Euros for a week onboard. Those cover the occasional Marina stop, but also food and drinks on board, cruising permits of the respective countries, immigration fees, vignettes, national park fees etc. So unless you plan to eat onshore every day this is really the final cost of the trip.

So please have a look at the schedule below and let us know what timeframe will work best for you and we can make arrangements. Ones a slot is fully booked we will note it down here as well. As long as there are available bunks we can. Sure take you into consideration!

Daily Routine on Board

While we have many different programs we aim to keep a certain routine in our daily life (with many things changing all the time it is nice to have some regularities)

We aim to wake up at 07:30 (Obviously if somebody was taking a night watch on anchor in a windy night he/she gets to sleep in the next day)
We start to operate at 08:00. Depending on the daily program this could be getting ready for a workshop with a Dive Center, setting sail to move or getting ready for some hands-on research operations on anchor.

1. While Underway

When sailing we aim to incorporate additional research efforts into our transit times. So while 2 persons are steering in shifts (Generally Manuel is one of them since he is the registered skipper with the boat and whoever has a. License can officially take over at times to allow for some rest) the rest of the crew can handle additional tasks: Whenever Cetacean/Marine Mammal observations are happening 3 people would be out on deck keeping an eye on the surface for any movement of dolphins, whales, seals, turtles etc. – in the past, we had encountered every other day on average but. Also had single days with several turtles in one go!

2. While Running Workshops

When running Workshops with Dive Centers we aim to adjust to their schedules as much as possible. The general idea, however, is that we join the centre for one day for each one of the three workshops (Invasive Species/Posidonia/Invasive Species) and while the guides are taking care of the diving side of things our team (all volunteers should get a chance to run at least one workshop under supervision) will take care of the scientific briefing, work underwater/research efforts, seagrass shoot counting, observation of invasive species etc and of course an in-depth debriefing afterwards.
Ones the dive guests are gone we will have another lecture with the staff of the dive centre to get them ready to run the next set of workshops themselves since we will only be able to come by each centre ones a year. More information on the dive Center Workshops can be found here.

3. Project Manaia Research Efforts

When not with a dive centre and not underway we always have some wiggle room for extra research efforts and training options for people on board. While days in between workshops are generally planned for transmitting we planned the route in a way that we should only have to move half a day and have the other half on anchor available to get things done.
– We can run video transects with the ROV and train you to do so as well!
– snorkelling excursions in the close surroundings (either swimming or by dinghy) Many areas have great caves for snorkelling, which are amazing hiding spots for invasive species and generally show amazing overgrowth to inspect.
– Seagrass mapping with the Drone is another option whenever we find somewhat lonely beaches (tourists, as well as locals, are not usually big friends of drones buzzing above their heads while swimming). This does involve a trip to shore since landing the drone on the boat is always a bit nerve-wracking
– Leasure time! Since we often will be working through weekends we do take the luxury of taking 2 half days a week off – while not everyone can always do this at the same time it is nice to have some off time together and just relax – lie in the sun, take the underwater scooter for a ride, go paddleboarding or for a simple swim to the closest beach. Plenty of options available onboard and around so the danger of getting bored is not really present!

SY Independence on anchor
SY Independence on left

While the focus of Mission Mediterranean tour clearly is the research work we want to get done throughout the waters we cross it also is an amazing networking opportunity for everyone who is joining on board!
We are working with various NGOs, Dive Centers, visit Universities and Aquariums on the way. So especially for the (Marine)Biologists, it is a unique chance to build up an international network, not only with the people on board but also the visited institutes along the route.
For full list of partners please have a close look at our route on the starting page and click the icons on the map – this will give you a good idea of the number of visited places!
If you check the schedule carefully (and ideally next to the map) you will see big differences over different stretches of the route. If stops are far apart it means a longer transit in between (no more than 5 days this year). So please make sure to choose your time slot. With. Your personal preference in mind!

Please be aware that life on board is different from living in an apartment – while most amenities are the same and still available there is. Certain things to keep in mind: Water and electricity are very limited resources and in fact, the only reasons for us to go into a Marina – so we try to be very careful with the consumption. Hot water is only available when the boat is plugged in (In a Marina) otherwise it is short cold(seawater temperature) sailors showers (for the good view I recommend the back of the boat).
For more details about everything on the boat, please have a look at the designated page about our Inde.

Join as a Biologist

For the Workshops, we will be running along the way we keep one extra spot open for biologists at all times. This means you will be responsible for making sure that all the Materials for workshops are ready to go when needed and you should already have good background knowledge about the subjects (Seagrass, invasive species as well as marine debris) beforehand – ideally, we can have a rundown overall workshop material and expected outcome well before the first ones are starting and no worries: You won’t be by yourself, Manuel will take care of the talking for the first runs before you are ready to take over!
We also need to organise the combined data collection from all diving bases and sailors into a manageable platform to make it easier for us to use the collected data in the long run.

Join as a Logistics/Outreach Person

As a Logistics and outreach person your main task will be to make sure that we are up to schedule: Keep contact with upcoming Dive Centers, keep them in the loop of where we are how things are going and what is next. Also the preparation of our possible berths and anchorages will be part of your responsibility (together with the resident sailor and the skipper of course).
This also means a bit of work ahead of the trip to make sure everything runs smoothly and people already know who you are!

Join as Photo/Video person

Since we are widely present on Social Media and aim to keep things that way, we also encourage people with a Media heavy background to join us for a while:
Main responsibilities will be the Photo and Video taking on board but also preparing regular posts for social Media as well as (ideally) videos to be uploaded on YouTube on a weekly basis. Since Internet is a luxury we do not always have some of the work will certainly be shore based in times when we work with Dive Centers anyways – there is usually a nice cafe close to the beach with good internet connection somewhere…

Join as a Sailor

You simply want to come and sail? No problem at all! Most our transits should be short a and crisp and ideally no overnight passages are expected. So if you want to join for the sail and have the chance to actually visit the places you sail to rather than only passing through this could be the position for you! Main responsibilities will be to take care of the sailing equipment and make sure things are running as they should – obviously the skipper will be on your side for all of this – but you will be the go to person whenever it comes to tacking, having a break from the wheel or alike.
Since this is certainly the position on board that takes the least preparation time up fron we would appreciate having potential sailing guests also sign up as part of our Patreon family as an additional donation to the project – and in return for an incredibly low cost sailing trip. For our 50 USD supporters we do in fact offer a one week free trip with us ones a week – just for an idea…

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