Friday, October 30, 2009

Getting ready

In addition to the successful replacement of the propeller anode, we have been busy with preparations for our upcoming passage to The Gambia followed by Cape Verde and Suriname. We are planning very conservatively to ensure that we have enough supplies to last us until we arrive in Suriname at Christmas time even though we will probably be able to get many things along the way.

The boat has been an almost constant disaster for the past week, strewn intermittently with tools, laundry, food provisions, and visiting fellow travelers helping each other and exchanging ideas. We have come to the conclusion that you can never be completely ready, you never have all of the cool gadgets and provisions that other people have but it is great fun to discuss and taunt each other on these subjects.

Among our tasks have been the replacement of the anode on the propeller, installation of the new autopilot, installation of mosquito nets, reparation of the water tanks, installation of a back-up auto pilot, refilling the cooking gas tanks, marking the anchor chain, designing and hanging fruit nets, buying enough food and drinks for the next two months (not to mention finding places to stow it), studying the charts and pilots and planning an SSB and marifone communication plan to keep in touch with the other boats along the way. There were also a vast number of other small but time consuming tasks and all in all we have been buzzing busily.

There are five boats that are travelling on Friday and Saturday to The Gambia (travelling at varying speeds and expecting to arrive at approximately the same time), two Dutch (s/y Victory and Tangaroa), one Dutch and Danish (s/y Mjolner), one Dutch and Canadian (s/y Pjotter) and one new boat who's crew usually lives in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada (s/y Atmosphere). The harbour in San Sebastian is also chock full of other boats, many of them whom are heading via various routes across the Atlantic as well. There is a wonderful community feel and an incredibly unselfish support network of people helping each other get ready in small ways by lending of giving supplies, exchanging ideas and often even spending days together sorting out more serious problems. This is the way the world should work.
Time to cast off the lines and leave La Gomera. This is one of the loveliest spots we have visited so far and we leave with very fond memories.

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