Chaos on the pontoon

Sweet Dreams
Roz Preston /Ed Phillips
Sat 5 Nov 2022 17:21
Monday brought frantic action to K pontoon. Suddenly there were people going up masts, engines in pieces, sails being checked, and everywhere a sense that departure was fast approaching and all those things we were quite relaxed about last week were now priorities.

Fortunately our asymetric sail was not as badly damaged as we feared at first and the minor work was done, and the sails back on board, by Tuesday, so we were able to strike that off the long to do list. On Tuesday also the seminars started and we trooped off to the local sports complex to sit in the auditorium listening to people telling us all the things that frankly, if we didn’t know by now, we shouldn’t be here! Except for the Stokey Williams presentation on navigating by the stars, which was rivetingly interesting and highly entertaining. Now we know what to do if the electrics go down.

As the week progressed, so too did the sense of mild to frantic panic. Ed had found a damaged pin in the gooseneck - the bit that holds the boom to the mast 😱😱😱. Luckily a local welder fixed it in no time. Phew. My preoccupation all week was provisioning, how to get enough food for a crew of four on board a boat on which every last corner of storage is already full of stuff. Another hire car and a trip to Al Campo later, we had everything we needed except wine, a minor oversight on my part brought on by a simultaneous Eddie crisis at home (she’s OK but needs a cardiac check up at the Dick vet). The wine situation was quickly remedied..Somehow or other we managed to get everything on the boat and put away, although there is a strong possibility that random items of food will never be found again. With Dick’s help we also have a good stock of frozen meals on hand in case we encounter rough weather and no one wants to cook.

The pleasure in doing this as part of a rally is knowing we are all in the same boat, as it were. All the conversation now goes along the lines of “have you got you cooking done” and “did the alternator arrive yet?”.

Meanwhile my back story has attracted the attention of a few Journalists. I have given interviews to Yachting World and Practical Boat Owner this week. 😳 Not my favourite thing to do, but John would be delighted.

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Angus joined us on Thursday evening so the crew is now complete. The saloon has become a dormitory so aside from the chart table and the cockpit, there is nowhere to sit comfortably any more, but hey, it’s ocean sailing and that’s what it’s like. If all we wanted was a comfy seat we should have stayed home.

We are all ready to go tomorrow lunchtime. At this morning’s briefing Chris Tibbs gave us a favourable weather forecast so all being well we will arrive after a reasonably gentle crossing in Mindelo seven days and four hours after we leave (according to Savvy Navvy and Ed, whose passage plan gives more or less the same timing for the trip). Can’t wait to get back out on the ocean again!

Until next post,

Sweet Dreams out

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