In 2009, the Bernard shipyard, a company located in St Vaast La Hougue, handled some structural work for us, mostly laying the planks and caulking the hull. Yannick Beloc is the team leader for this company, and this is his portrait.
Magalie Guérinet works at the Chantier Naval des Minimes, which specialises in renovation, fitting out, cabinetmaking and nautical construction. The company is based in La Rochelle.
This young woman is a member of the team that did the cabin fittings for the Hermione’s orlop deck.
Magalie has a DMA, a diploma in arts and crafts equivalent to a BTS. She trained at the vocational college in Surgères and then specialised in the interior fittings of boats.
The crew is made up of 78 people: 15 professional sailors, 56 volunteers who help with manoeuvres (called “boatswains”), and 7 additional crew (technicians, journalists, etc.).Being a volunteer on the Hermione means discovering the maritime world and experiencing an adventure with a truly human angle.
The ship’s crew is divided into three teams on a three-watch system where each team works in 4-hour shifts (watches). These watch teams are called Port, Middle and Starboard. The Port watch is on duty at the following hours: 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 8 p.m to midnight. The Mizzen watch is on duty between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Last but not least, the Starboard watch is on duty from midnight to 4 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
After spending his childhood sailing in Audierne Bay, he joined the French Navy. He studied at the École des Mousses then, years later, at the École Navale. From Newfoundland to Guadeloupe, his embarkations were diverse and varied, but it was tall ships that interested him. In 2010, he joined the college of expert sailors in the Hermione-Lafayette association. When it came to appointing a commander for the frigate, his name instantly came up. His experience on the barque Belem, as captain, made him the ideal candidate. Before the Belem, he sailed on the Mutin then commanded the Étoile, on which he set sail for Iceland, accompanied by the Belle Poule. Fascinated by square-rigged ships, crossing the Atlantic on the Hermione was a brand new challenge for him.
The deputy commander is responsible for onboard security and maintenance of the frigate. They manage the crew during sailing as well as the day-to-day life on board.
This lieutenant is in charge of plotting routes, technical checks of modern navigation equipment and updating paper maps.
This lieutenant is more specifically responsible for the supplies on board, stopover paperwork and the guns.
The superintendent manages relations with partners and the media. They are the spokesperson for the Hermione-La Fayette association.
This is not a “historic” position, but the chief engineer is essential on board today.
They are in charge of the engines, generators, water tanks and other contemporary equipment on board.
*All of the masters and forepersons on board a ship or in an arsenal
On board, the bosun is the link between the officers and the sailors. Responsible for the rigging, manoeuvres and anchors, they have perfect technical knowledge of the ship. Off watch, the bosun is present for all the trickier manoeuvres and carefully monitors the rigging.
Responsible for all the wooden elements that go into the ship, the master carpenter is responsible for their maintenance and repair. They also design a lot of fittings, making life on board easier. Their workshop is at the front of the ship with their tools and a stock of wood. They also serve as backup for manoeuvres.
On the Hermione, the master sailmaker is responsible for the 2,100m2 of sail area. They maintain and repair them while helping as backup for manoeuvres.
The professional crew has 6 sailors: three watch leaders and three deputies.
In pairs they manage a team of 18 volunteers per watch, under the supervision of a navigational officer on watch. The sailors oversee the manoeuvres on deck and in the masts. They are responsible for the volunteers during the shift and also train them.
The onboard chef makes the meals both when docked and at sea, and manages the ship’s provision orders. They have an essential role in keeping up the crew’s morale. They are assisted by a cook’s assistant and the boatswains.
The steward manages the volunteers in the stewardship service and the stores of food, is responsible for breakfast, getting meals ready and the laundry on board.
There is also a media member on board who sends the Hermione–La Fayette association daily news updates, photos and films from on board, so that as many people as possible can experience life on the ship.
Last but not least, the the crew includes a volunteer on-board doctor who has been trained as a boatswain.
The boatswains are the sailors responsible for manoeuvring the sails, maintaining the rigging, manoeuvring the anchors and the boats. There are 54 on board, with an average age of 27. The boatswains, who are aged between 18 and 35 years old, were trained in Rochefort during training sessions, then during the Hermione’s sea trials. At the end of their training, they will have acquired the maritime skills required to be able to sail aboard the Hermione, and are ready to take their watch. Crew changes are scheduled at stopovers to allow as many people as possible to participate.