Sir William Robert Patrick Knox-Johnston, born in 1939, is a British sailor. In 1969, he became the first person to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe. Along with Sir Peter Blake, he won the second Jules Verne Trophy, for which they were also named the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Yachtsman of the Year award. In 2007, at the age of 67, he set a record as the oldest yachtsman to complete a round the world solo voyage in the Velux 5 Oceans Race. Clearly, an accomplished sailor.
WHY, why does packing and provisioning for the boat always feel so daunting? It does not matter whether it is for one week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, or even 9 months (ok, maybe those multi-month Bahama trips were a bit more intense.) I’m not even going to share clothing quandaries. June in New England means you need to be prepared for a potential temperature range of 40 degrees. It could be in the 50’s and it could be in the 90’s. The water temperature is 55 in the beginning of June and may increase to 65 by the end of the month. That keeps it chilly ON the water, even if you aren’t IN the water.
I’ve written about provisioning for our Bahamas trips in past blogs.
THIS IS ONLY FOR 3 WEEKS. That’s nothing. Al gently reminds me, “There are grocery stores here in New England, Michele.” But, 1) I don’t want to spend my short 3 weeks of cruising in grocery stores. 2) Grocery stores on the islands are not always easily accessible by foot, 3) Groceries are always more costly on an island whether in New England or the Caribbean.
Without intentionally doing so, I have been provisioning piecemeal over the past 2-3 weeks. Although that may sound sensible, I soon learned that I wasn’t sure what was on the boat already, what was still at home, and how much space was left in the assorted cupboards, cabinets, and under seating space. Even with my notes and lists. I resorted to snapping photos with my phone. Oh well, this is hardly a tragic problem!
The freezer is always a big concern. When you are preparing and packing the food at home, how do you know what will fit inside the freezer? We have an hour drive to the boat so I don’t want to get there and find out it will not all fit. On the flip side, I also don’t want to find out I could have brought more.
I like cooking with fresh herbs. I have repeatedly tried to carry herbs on the boat. I know that there are many cruisers who are quite successful with their herb “gardens” and others who refuse to allow anything with soil onboard. I have yet to find the best solution. Wind, salt air and salt water can be hard on the plants. And there is the possibility of dirt spilling on the fiberglass.
Enough about provisioning and preparing. All of my clothing (and I know I brought too much) fit with space to spare. I did over provision and maxed out the refrigerator and freezer. Sorry, Sir William Robert Patrick Knox-Johnston, I do not find it to be as enjoyable as the actual cruise.
There is another part of preparedness – safety.
The US Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 25,1SR New London, offered free vessel checks on June 4th. The timing was good for us since we would be there for the day to wash and prep (oh yes, more prep.) “The safety check is not a survey of your vessel, but it is designed to verify that you have certain required safety equipment aboard. and that it is functioning properly. Upon successful completion your vessel will be awarded a Vessel Safety Check decal.
In addition to paperwork and lots of questions, there’s the show and tell. Highlights —