ARC | Day -3

Steve and Lynda Cooke
Fri 20 Nov 2015 17:41

28:07.63N 15:25.58W
ARC | Day -3

Countdown continues to Sunday and the pace is up a step.

Skipper Steve is concerned about the radar which has an intermittent issue. Better if it's either on or off. Raymarine guy arrives just as Peter and I head off to the supermarket for the provisions.

So now the original spreadsheet produced months ago gains some actual value: 125 gms of cornflakes a man per breakfast; 0.5 teabags and 250 mls of milk. Multiply by six and then by 21 days, you get the picture. And that's just the start. Spag Bol, Irish Stew, Beef Bourg: how many variations on dinner can you have in 21 days? The trolleys pile up. How many loo rolls?

The supermarket is alive with ARC crews. Pasta, rice, coffee, day, snacks... they all pile into the trolleys. German crew of five behind us in the queue is busy packing dozens of bottles of wine. Are we missing something?

Free delivery when you spend more than €300: it's bonanza time at Hiperdino. What's the Spanish for kidney beans, for the chili con carne? Will breakfast rations work at 150 gms of cornflakes a man per day? And the most important question of all: are we a wet or a dry boat?

"Moist" says the skipper. So that's a can of beer per day per man, for "morale". We elect to source these tomorrow, meanwhile it's back to Nina to stow provisions. Every available space is grabbed for stowage: this will actually be a trip of eating interspersed by bits of sailing. We source storage boxes for 100 eggs, best place we reckon is directly over the keel where slamming will be minimised. Big win with rice: we found a parboiled version that cooks in 10 minutes. Also some good buys in cooked tortillas: easy to store and quick to prepare.

Back onboard, Mark has installed lee cloths to stop any falling out of bed. The Raymarine guy has sorted the radar - happy Skipper. On an ocean crossing, radar won't be used much for spotting traffic, more for seeing squalls and routing around them. Chris has been busy getting to grips with the SSB radio.

All around us, the same is going on. No chat yet about weather, that will come, for now it's all about boats and prep. T-shirted marine suppliers are buzzing up and down. The chandler up the road has adopted a take-a-number system. The official ARC photographer drops by for a photo: crew shirts de rigeur.

The evening brings showers, a visit to the Raymarine-sponsored sundowners, and taxi into the old town for beer and tapas. Tomorrow: fruit and veg delivery, Chris up the mast to pad the spreaders, trip to the fuel dock and maybe a short sail to get familiar with Nina's rig.

Getting close now