Posted 26 February 2012, Lord Howe Island

Tomorrow, Monday, 27 Feb. Vida Nova will be sailing to New Zealand and I would like to share with you the way I go about preparing her and myself for the passage. From my perspective, the most important is the weather window and the forecast for the next 5 to 7 days,which at this stage predicts strong winds towards the end of the week, but as I progress on the voyage, the conditions certainly will change; its now a question of monitoring the weather with all available tools.

The next is food, because cooking at sea, with the boat bouncing around and a sailor with a weak stomach, the results will be mal de mer, which potentially can lead to disaster; consequently I have cook 5 meals in advance, salads prepared but not dressed, a dozen boiled eggs cooked, water and milk containers top up, in a little basket near the companionway there are motion sickness pills, different snacks, nuts and fruit to nibble on.

Down bellow, the boat is clean with everything on its place, tied and secure; the sea berths are made, galley clean with dishes in the racks and the sinks empty, fuel and water tanks are full, batteries are fully charged, engine oil, water and belts checked, fuel filters are cleaned and so are the bilges, with the pumps operational. The dinghy and outboard motor, clean, stored and secured
on the windlass, where the chain goes into the locker, I sealed it using moulding clay so water does not go into the chain locker, the sails are ready to hoist and reef when necessary, storm jib in place and the droge ready to deploy, the bottom is scrapped clean, propeller and shaft clean and polished, and zincs installed.

On the chart table, the course is plotted on the Ipad (poor sailor chart plotter) and so is a alternative course, all instruments are working and the barometer reads 1023.2 hpa and steady; she is ready and I stoped coffee, booze, fat and spice foods, drink lots of water and took 2 pills today and 1 tomorrow before departure, and after that only on need base.

Vida Nova is everything, she is the center of my life and she commands all aspects of it,in this new way of life, its imperative that I take care of her in harbour or at anchor, so she can take care of me in the ocean, consequently all my daily activities revolves around her needs, as a blue water vessel and my home as well.

She is a very demanding enterprise, but I am also a very willing participant.

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