Exercise Midnight Sun - Greenland 2008

THE LEG 1 CREW ARRIVE

 

We are finally here at Gosport assembling for possibly the greatest adventure that many of us have ever taken part in.  Having told so many people that I would be ‘sailing to Greenland ’ this summer, I feel that the realisation is finally sinking in, and with it a feeling of nervous excitement and anticipation.  It feels only a couple of weeks ago that we were all assembled for the first selection weekend back in January where there was limited experience amongst the crew.  Through the many training weeks and weekends we have gelled together and will undoubtedly be firm friends at the end of this experience.

 

So at 0900 hrs this morning we were all here, apart from Khush who had managed to get himself stuck in a traffic jam around the M25!  After a quick Skipper's brief from Richard about what would be happening in the next couple of days prior to sailing, we set off in our three watches to complete a series of jobs and tasks that would need to be tied up before we left.  My watch’s task was to go to the supermarket and buy all the fresh rations for the trip which will hopefully last us up to a week.  It’s a funny experience going shopping for fourteen people, and it’s hard to imagine.  Every item has to be bought in such large proportions: 56 pieces of fruit, 16 x 1kg blocks of cheese, 280 rashers of bacon, 8 bags of potatoes.. etc., large supermarket trolleys are soon filled up and you certainly get some strange looks from the general public filling up their meagre shopping baskets!  Once the shopping was done we returned to the boat and started to unload the shopping.  Windy had a precise stowage plan for the boat so that we would all know exactly where each item is when we have our turn to cook.  This is yet another task which has to be done with such attention to detail as there is a huge amount of food on the boat which has to last us 3 weeks.Problems!

 

The afternoon was again spent completing admin and various tasks on the boat.  Byrne was busy completing a manifest of people on the boat, Ram was trying to print out the menu plan for the trip and Anne and Andy’s watches spend a fair few hours trying to figure out the water tank problem – are they filled?  Have they been emptied?  Do the valves work?  Is there air in the pipes?!  As you can imagine we need to carry a huge amount of fresh water on board and its essential that these tanks are all full.  I wouldn’t like to see the look on the Richard’s face if we accidentally forgot to fill one up.

 

So there we have it, day one is coming to a close and we have had beautiful sunshine which we are hoping will stay at least for another couple of days of our journey.  The plan is to leave at 4pm tomorrow and we will wait and see what the day will have in store.

 

Rachel Nicklin