Training dates approaching

cropped-3512-race.jpgThe second week of October, when I start my level 1 training, is fast approaching. Juggling my annual leave at work means that I really want to do the level 2 training this year. It also gives me more time to think about bits and pieces I may need to be as comfortable as possible during the race.

But training weeks are quickly filling it seems, because the only possible week Clipper could give me was straight after my level 1 training. This is something many are recommending NOT to do because level 1 on its own is exhausting enough. But if I cannot cope with two weeks of sailing how am I coping with 4 months’ worth? The first day of level 2 is spend messing about in a swimming pool!! Something to do with “survival at sea” and life rafts. So how can that be strenuous?

Equipment has been sorted out. I have my fancy Musto HPX Ocean sailing boots with integral gaiters and special “keeping feet warm” lining. They do not come cheap, but apparently it is worth the investment in the Northern Pacific while helming during the cold nights. A super warm mid-layer in the form of Buffalo salopettes has been acquired which I can use together with my Buffalo mountain shirt which I normally use in the Scottish hills during winter. Next on the list are the merino wool base layers, but that will have to wait until next year.

I have decided to use as much of my existing equipment and to make sure that any equipment I buy can be used for my normal outdoor activities. I have already three sleeping bags, summer, three season and an expedition -26oC down bag. So why paying another £240 for a waterproof marine sleeping bag? My three season bag with by Gore-Tex waterproof biffy should be warm enough. Especially with a fleece liner. So let’s try and be sensible, but it may all change after the two weeks of training. If anyone reading this has advice then please let me know. Any help would be welcome!

Reading up on the training manual is progressing well. The sport of sailing has its own nautical language with some very curious phrases. Having sailed many years ago in the Netherlands everything I know is in Dutch so I will need to re-learn. Practically I know how it works but I cannot explain it because I do not know the words for all the pieces on the boat. This is going to be interesting!!