Midnight Sun & Adrian Flanagan

Sun 13 Jul 2008 20:38
Hi Chaps & Chapesses!
You should all now regularly be checking our blog site out ... http://blog.mailasail.com/adventure  ... as previously mentioned, that is the responsive place at which I shall be communicating with you ... and the place at which your friends and families should follow your progress.
Note the recent contact info posted there.
Mark & co have done us proud over the last 6 months.  I hope you all appreciate it!  Show some respect.
Following up on a couple bits below:
1.   Bring a hot water bottle - preferably a small sized one.  I have one and can handle the grief I get from "hardened" sailors!  At my age I need to get up for a pee at some stage during the night (get that for an admission!) and when sailing it is made worse by the yacht's movement.  So rather than drink that last cup of warm stuff before the end of my watch, I prefer to fill my single mug sized hot water bottle with the fluid and have warm feet while I rest!  It is up to you though!
2.   Who likes sardines and prunes?  Come on own up ... nil returns ARE required!  Otherwise I might buy 6 weeks worth!
3.   Who knows where to buy silk tights ... is the shop near a railway station by any chance?  Sounds kinda tempting really!
4.   Can't for the life of me imagine that stockings would be comfortable in the arctic ... the suspender belt would dig in when winching!
5.   I have advised you lots on base layer etc ... you have been warned.  Any one developing hypothermia due to lack of appropriate clothing will have to share a sleeping bag naked with Windy!
6.   Feet, hands, face and neck are the most exposed areas to wet and cold.  It ain't warm where we are going.  The sea temperature is 2 to 4 degrees!  Wind chill will drop the air temperature well below zero ... again you have been warned my friends! 
7.   Have suggested bivi bag before - seriously!  The yacht will be more damp inside than you have yet experienced and cold drips do tend to permeate your sleeping bag.  Once wet there will be no way of drying the bag out!
Getting excited ... you should be!
As Ever,

Sent: 06 July 2008 23:10
To: Catherine) 36SR-MIDNIGHT-SUN (Stephens; Richard Quinlan; RSYC; Windy Gale; Eddie Allen; Whitmore Andrew; Peter Baker; Daz Cattle; Khush Cooper; Michael Curtis-Rouse; David Dewfall; anne downie; tom fitton; Byrne Ghavalas; Matt Grieg; Kev Harding; Neil Hewitt; Emma Kelly; Stuart Kennon; Allan Macdonald; Andrew Macham; Ramesh Manickavasagan; Ramesh Manickavasagan; Paul Molyneaux; rachel nicklin; Josh Seller; Louise Smith; Linda Smith; Greg Surridge
Subject: Midnight Sun & Adrian Flanagan

The meeting last Wednesday with Adrian Flanagan went very well and we all left looking forward to the day his book comes out (31 Oct).  His ex wife and project manager Louise added a picture and short write up on their website:
Having been back 6 weeks, working 16 hour days and arranging the sale of his yacht and move to France, it was very good of Adrian to take time to meet with us.  Although we are fully prepared, it was interesting to get his views and below is a short precis:
Cleaning - don't use Ecover, it does not work very well and smells bad.
Food - sardines are excellent, the best nutritional value with the least waste to work through your body.
          - take some tinned prunes for obvious reasons
He was not impressed with any of the technical base layers he tried, of which there were many sponsors who gave him the top brands.  After the whole trip he recommends Marks & Spencer cotton long sleeve vests and long johns.  The best advice he offers for base layers is the soldiers known trick of wearing silk tights or stockings, they are warm and avoid chaffing (at this stage Andy Whitmore admitted he has a pair he wears, with the obvious banter which then started about whether it was right that he had worn them to the meal to meet Adrian!).
Adrian was given Gill mid layer which was good but the outer leaked, the company later admitted that their range is not really suitable for ocean sailing.  He liked Musto and thinks we have the perfect choice in HPX.
He liked the Musto hat with the windproof layer, also recommending a neck warmer as a must have.  Additionally he used a ski headband since this covers the ears.
His feet suffered the most.  He wore Dubarry boots and said they were superb (£150), they did not let in a drop of water.  However his feet still got cold.  He usually wore woolly mountaineering socks but when in Alaska met an American who showed him some heated clothing, resulting in him sourcing from Gerbing plug in socks, they had a car cigarette lighter 12v connector which he used to plug in for 20 mins then wear and thinks this the best morale boosting item he had. I have asked Louise for the contact details and will try to get them to sponsor us or offer a decent discount.
Adrian recommends Oakley ski goggles, in the Arctic he found his eyes watered from the wind and so wore them often, considers a must have (we have goggles coming from Bicester but they wont be Oakley).  He also used and again recommends the peel off covers which he found easy to replace quickly rather than having to constantly clean his goggles after the build up of salt water.
Hands - Like Colonel Richard, Windy and MJ, Adrian says he has not found nor met anyone who has found the solution to the suitable glove problem.  He was advised by Alaskan fishermen to put silicon sealant on them but this leads to the problem of it getting everywhere. 
He did use a bivi bag to increase the heat in his sleeping bag and also a hot water bottle.
Finally Adrian said that not only did he ensure he had a well equipped grab bag containing the normal flares, suntan creme, rations such as bilton, orange powder, nav kit, waterproof containers with survival book, he also regularly practised going through the drill of forcing himself to jump out of bed, donning his kit and life jacket, grabbing the bag, getting on deck and pretending to launch his life raft.  He thinks that this must be regularly run through to keep you focused and to try to identify improvements which may save your life.
Having wished us the best of luck, Adrian intends to email Adventure when we sail.