Our crew comes from all walks of life, of all ages. We've raced HARD with a crew ranging in age from 32-71. We've sailed with Senators and salesman, bus drivers and computer programmers. Our crew are both men and women, and our inclusive philosophy makes no distinction between the two. Some have crossed oceans while others have never set foot on a sailboat.
A lot of our crew come back with us year after year. Some do so because they realize they can't, or don't want to, afford their own boat and the required maintenance, so they get their fix with us. Others are planning long-distance cruises on their own boats, so join us to get some ocean experience under their belts. Others still see it as a personal challenge, akin to climbing a mountain or running a race, and join us for the adventure of it.
That said, ALL of our crew share some of the same personality traits. To a person, our crew tend to be:
Join the Club
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We honor everyone who sails with us, of course, but for the select few who sail with us year after year and start accruing more sea miles, we wanted to do something extra special. To honor your commitment to sailing aboard Isbjorn, we’ve created Crew Patches based on the old tradition of sailor tattoos. When you reach a milestone aboard Isbjorn with us, instead of getting tattooed (though that would be hardcore!), you’ll be issued a special Crew Patch to sew on a backpack or jacket or pin up in your home office as a reminder of your time with us and a symbol of what you’ve accomplished on the high seas. There is of course no limit to the number of patches you can collect!
Here’s the rundown. Note that the *starred ones are stuff we made up, based on the ideas of the tattoo tradition. The non-starred items are actual tattoos with a real tradition:
Anchor: Historically indicated sailing across the Atlantic. Complete an Atlantic crossing with us and get the anchor patch!
Nautical Star: Traditionally given so that a sailor could always find his or her way home. *We’ve adapted it to mean you’ve completed a celestial passage with us.
Sea Turtle: Showed that a sailor had crossed the equator. Join us on a trans-equatorial passage and get your turtle patch!
Dragon: Historically referred to a sailor that has served in Asia - if we ever make it to the Pacific, and you’re with us, it’s Dragon patches around!
Golden Dragon: Means a sailor has crossed the International Date Line.
Palm Tree: Denoted military service in the Mediterranean. Do a Med passage with us and get your palm tree patch!
Harpoon: Referred to a member of the fishing fleet - land a fish on Isbjorn and get your Harpoon patch!
Hula Girl: Reflected being stationed in Hawaii or sailing there. If we ever make it there, Hula patches for all!
“Hold Fast”: Traditionally tattooed on the knuckles as good luck for guys working in the rigging - go aloft on Isbjorn (at sea!) and get your Hold Fast patch!
Swallow: Traditionally received for each increment of 5,000 miles sailed - keep sailing with Isbjorn and you can rack up your Swallow patches! Swallow tattoos were also thought to be good luck in finding land and in returning to your home port.
Fully-rigged Ship: Represents traversal of Cape Horn. The biggest milestone of all - when we do this, we might just have to get the real thing!
*Spinnaker: Complete an offshore race with us and get your spinnaker patch!
Here's some inspiration from one of America's pioneering tattoo artists, Norman Collins, aka 'Sailor Jerry' (and yes, there is now a rum named after him). Once the patches are finished, we'll post the designs here too.