Passage Planning – Part One

Quiet Sunday morning. Lu’s final assessments start next week. Delphine meanwhile, goes back to normal, timetabled school. In and around their studies, our plan is to carry on getting the boat ready for the crossing from Bonaire now to the Azores. After all, what’s an extra 500 miles?

We estimate the passage to the Azores now to be between 21 and 28 days. We’ve given ourselves a ration of 5 litres of fresh water a day. This means we’ll need at least 700 litres of fresh water on Quest.

Jack and I went to the hardware store on Friday and bought a sturdy plank of wood. Then to the chandlery for u-bolts. This plank has now been secured to the heeling side of Quest’s stanchions, ready to stack and securely hold water containers. The containers will hold a spare 100 litres. As well as our tank water, we will also carry bottles of drinking water and stow them on Lulu’s bunk. She always sleeps in Delph’s room under passage.

It’s better this way. Delph’s double bed is positioned so you don’t roll when the boat heels. Plus, those two get close when we sail. They naturally help each other out. It is sweet to watch. Having no sisters of my own, I definitely learn about sisterhood watching these two. Not sure whether I’m glad to be sisterless.. or not. I am certainly grateful to be raising a pair.

Food next. We have been meal planning for a while already – based on the likely severity of the passage and the equipment we have on Quest. Patrice made it to the Dominican Republic yesterday. He gave us a report on the sailing conditions.

Having gone directly north, he had the wind coming at him straight from a north-easterly direction. Unfortunately, north-east is exactly the way we need to go. Ok, hold your nerve. The wind changes in May. We will wait here until it does, and take the window. Actually, we have no choice.

We can expect the first ten days to be a bit intense. The wind doesn’t change that much. So the food situation has to reflect this. Easy meals to cook. Food to grab while we get used to the conditions.

At the beginning of Quest, cooking like we were still at home, I once made a lasagne-type meal somewhere off the Atlantic coast. I remember getting ready to try and serve it when it shot out of the oven of its own accord – and ended up interestingly all over the floor.

I looked up quickly at the cockpit where everyone was hungry and shivering with the damp evening air. No one had noticed? No problem I decided. The floor was clean.

Makes me laugh now, a whole five years later. Jack and I walked around the supermarket yesterday. Dutch cans of soup are so hearty. Flavours include beef with something (I really need to use Google translate more), Goulash (got that one) and a whole host of others. I nodded enthusiastically. That will definitely do to the latitudes of Bermuda.

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