CREW ARRIVAL AND PREPARATION DAY
Photo of Emma completing the blog at the chart table.
The crew for leg 2 of Midnight Sun plus one person from leg 1, arrived at the JSASTC, Gosport, at 9am on 15th March 2008, extremely keen and eager to begin their training! First on the agenda was kit issue, oillies and boots, warm kit and torches - everyone was fully prepared to set sail. However the important task of victual (food supplies for the rest of us!) needed to be completed and with myself, Emma Kelly, being the only female aboard it was naturally my mission to shop! So with my watch, made up of myself, Andy and Andy (the Andy watch), and the money, we head off to the supermarket. A simple trip to the supermarket - not when you are shopping for 14 people, on a Saturday morning, in a supermarket populated by the whole of Gosport - it turned into a complete mission. Three hours, three trolleys and huge bill later we proudly returned to the boat with our essentials. Unpacking the shopping we realised our rationing system was random to say the least, with everyone able to have 6 cup a soups each, two rolls a day and as many oranges as you can eat.
The other two watches had been busy learning the workings of the boat. 'Andy Watch' got on with the lunch i.e. put pasties in the oven and did the menu. By this time it had already been decided that I was to be called Andy, I argued that the Andy's should be called Emma but they were having none of it! Lunch was served as the lessons continued. Our watch had a sail lesson, which involved a completely new sailing language - although apparently it will become my second language - at the moment I am not convinced I will ever be able to take the 'what language are you speaking' look off my face!
We did not sail today, we stayed alongside and learnt what we will need to know over the next 5 days. Josh's watch was tasked with putting away the shopping and cooking dinner. 'Andy Watch' was sent back to the supermarket for more sweets (essentials). I was worried that we had not brought enough rice, we had 2kg for 2 dinners for 14 people. With myself and Andy taking bets on whether or not it would be enough, Andy decided we should buy another one just in case. We returned with the sweets, and extra rice, little did we know what havoc the extra bag of rice was about to cause. Josh's watch were getting on with cooking, on the menu for the night was curry, with Nan breads and rice! The menu clearly stated that 3 jars of curry sauce were needed, 1kg of rice and all the Nans were to be served. However, Gregg, decided that all three bags of rice were needed - don't think anyone told him that we were not feeding the whole of Gosport. With two pans boiling 3kgs of rice nobody was going to go hungry, never mind what is going to happen on Chilli night when we have no rice!
However, alls well that ends well, the curry was an absolute delight. It was then time to unpack and make the boat home for the next five days, then off to the pub for that essential pint! Day one and crew morale is high, although we have not left land yet - watch this space!