Le Bato a film, a voyage around South America

TIMEZERO Ambassadors Le Bato a Film are currently sailing around South America, filming their travels and making short films on the people and different cultures they meet. Their aim is to take the route less traveled and meet isolated cultures. Their Captain, Geraldine Marin.

Le Bato a Film crew on-board La Tortuga

“Our trip is coming to a close. We are currently in Cuba having already sailed 15,000 nautical miles around South America since we left the port of La Rochelle one year ago. The crew has changed a lot in that time: 20 different teams, 4 languages, 58 different people, 12 of which Latinos and around two thirds novices.

15.000 Mn sailed around South America, from La Rochelle to Cuba

We are five on-board with 2 on deck and the other 3 crew acting as filming crew more than being part of the sailing team. In spite of their lack of sailing knowledge, they do their bit to help out the team, doing their rounds, participating in the boat maneuvers. Our system works on a crew rotation of 2 hours in solo, with one of the team “on call”, followed by 6 hours of rest, and two hours on call. When the weather conditions get worse, the crew member on call has to be woken and man the deck, with a rotation of me or my 2nd in command.

Because of this, TIMEZERO is a tool perfectly adapted to my needs. Within a few minutes of explanation, all my crew understand how to use the software program. They could identify the land, the areas with little depth, the different depths and the marks. Even though they are not experts in chart reading, they can locate their position and find reference points.

Before any trip out to sea, I create a route to the next port, trying to take into account the evolution of the weather and the tacks and gibes. This is the best guide for my crew. When they wake up, they systematically go to check the chart. They see the boat’s location, the heading, the ideal heading for the route which adapts constantly based on the evolution of weather conditions. So with a brief glimpse, they can compare the actual heading with the desired heading so that once they get up on deck, they have a good idea of what to do.

Around our boat we have configured a 5-mile radius. I let the crew members know that if there is no boat, low-lying land, buoy etc, in the boundary circle at the start of their shift then they will be fine for the next hour. However that doesn’t change the fact they need to keep an eye out at all times. The AIS tool is also great in providing security, “CPA less than a mile, less that 15 minutes, wake the Captain.”

AIS display: We are away moving away from our actual route to avoid Guanabara Bay

The option to add marks is very useful:

  • Pictograms: We add landmarks along all the possible shelters in the Patagonian channels
  • Circles: When we moor, we trace a circle around the anchor, centered at the place where we anchored which allows us to check if we are drifting as well as seeing danger zones that may not appear when fully zoomed out
  • Variety of marks: We note down events along the route
  • Texts: I like to leave pointers on certain zones for the crew and sometimes just little notes and jokes to make our shifts more enjoyable
Little tip left for the next shift

We use TIMEZERO for the Weather Routing Module as well as just reading the chart. Our boat is no thoroughbred race boat (there is a reason, it’s called “Tortuga”, a proud heavy boat made for long distance sailing) … so even though polar optimization is a great feature, we are truly into the safety features it provides! This is crucial for our project to succeed in discovering the world while using afriendly navigation tool so that our crew members who come from a variety of countries and backgrounds with little sailing experience, can easily get the hang of it.

Even if in remote areas, the vector charts can lack some detail such as Patagonia, I’m still on the whole, very satisfied with TIMEZERO software. When we are in port amongst other mariners, we often compare charts and TIMEZERO is never 2nd rate.”


Find out about creating boundary circles in this blog article or alternatively find out more about our software by visiting our website: www.mytimezero.com

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