Long Dark Nights – Planning

Although the winter nights are getting shorter, I still have plenty of time to attack the list of tasks which are allocated to me. I am managing the planning via spreadsheets, one with the list of tasks in date order (on schedule so far!) and another with the menu for 20 days (guess we live out of tins after that – incentive for getting across the Atlantic as fast as is comfortable!) and all the items we need for the meals. Another sheet on the second file has the very important location of the provisions, with code numbers and I’m trying to ensure the weight is spread evenly and low. A further sheet has all the information I have been picking up from books and other sailor’s websites. Some of our hardback books are too heavy to take so I am taking notes instead and will sell them at the boat jumble in April.

A fellow 473 owner told me where they kept their stores and under the dining table is a good place for cans of drink, so long as the packs are strapped down securely. We already have a couple of long nets to carry light good and fruit, plus I bought a few cotton string bags today to hold spice jars and vegetable. We currently use a whole steel basket/drawer in the galley just to store the spices, which is unnecessary and I need to put vegetables in there, so it is a matter of moving things around for the crossing.

We decided to use collapsible plastic crates, which are easy to store later and will put a few in the forward heads in the shower area, again strapped in. These can hold packets of food and lighter items. Once we have eaten all that, the crew will have 2 showers again. We saw a photo of one boat with a lidded box held on the stern platform and will do the same. We need to use all the space initially but I will be glad when we start getting through the supplies and the poor boat can look half decent again.

We have also been in touch with a few of the other entrants on the ARC, now that some of them have websites and this is really adding to the sense of not being alone in this adventure.

This weekend the whole crew are gathering in Edinburgh, so we can organise the crew shirts and start looking at the planning together. Otherwise it will be the end of May the next time we can all meet up and after that it will be in Las Palmas.

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