Work, work and work: boat preparation week

Another 860 mile round trip to Gosport, this time I will be staying in the marina and not on the water. I volunteered to spend a week preparing the boat for the race.

A lot of work needs to be done. All the running rigging need to be replaced, adding small modifications for storage arrangements and the main engine, generator, pumps and winches need servicing.

A very good opportunity to learn the boat better.

This is the sixth time I have done this journey. The interview, level 1 and 2 training, level 3 training, crew weekend, level 4 training and now the boat preparation. A total of more than 4,600 miles with the camper van sleeping in the back on the way. This week I have been sleeping all week in the camper van parked in the marina car park. Suprisingly quiet and comfortable although this might have something to do with the long hours, 10 to 12 hours and the physical aspect of the work.

During last week level 4 training one of our crew slipped below deck and broke a few ribs. She was evacuated by helicopter to hospital. Fortunately she is now recovering at home. It has caused a realisation that bad weather and a small slip can have serious consequences and not something you want in the middle of the ocean. Everyone is thinking how we can make the boat more secure. I have been adding a grab handle and fitted ties to improve the safety around the companion way steps.

Starting the week, I “moused”, “wipped” and “milked” the ropes. All new terms and I will not bore you with the details but this has all to do with preparing the halyards and sheets for use with large loads. A whole new language to be learned yet again. It was soon recognised I had an engineering background and naturally transitioned in to servicing the heads (toilet), pumps, main engine, generator and winches.

Had a great time!! But now for some time for myself. Tomorrow I am starting my Scottish Road Trip 2016 with a good friend. Look forward seeing the far north of Scotland again.

Next post will be race start!! Can't believe the time has gone so quick!!