Day 87: 26th January 2017 – Day 109: 17th February 2017
But let’s get down to business… THE BIG NEWS: I know what you’re thinking and, no I am not pregnant!
Mark offered this pigeon the opportunity to sail across the Pacific with Fruit Salid 3. My initial reaction was “Of course!! What an adventure!” Then I thought about people, practicalities and safety… the seeds of doubt began. I spoke to Rupert who worked out my chances of survival being “not good with my luck.” He finished his wise synopsis with “It’s a no brainer” and he was right. I wouldn’t be George The Pigeon if I turned down such an adventure. And just like that, I was in!
This started the new era of my trip on Fruit Salid 3. My job: Provisioning. I love food, as I’m sure you have gathered. But even I with a Masters in Engineering, a brilliant excel spreadsheet and recipes galore, struggled to tame the wild beast. Provisioning for 4 people for 4 months is not an easy task.
As my brain wurred into action, as did Grenada Race Week.
After a week of sailing and partying I was ready to focus on the elephant in the room:
My thoughts were brimming with questions and unknowns. How far actually is it? Where do we start… and finish? What islands do we pass? Who lives there and how? What will the conditions be like? Is it dangerous? Do I have enough experience? What is the watch system? Will I be alone on night watches? Is Fruit Salid 3 sea worthy? What happens if the ship goes down? How will I feel after months at sea? Will I lose my cracker’s? Then I got distracted again…
Grenada Independence Day
On the 7th February was Grenada Independence day, 43 years.
The police, Cadets, Brownies, Beavers Cubs and Scouts stood proud in the centre whilst the brass band marched forward. Everyone fell silent listening to the trombone, then suddenly out of nowhere the conductor started hip thrusting! Using his mace as a dancing pole, throwing it high in the air and looping around it. The crowd was in hysterics! Then he started rapping! “Respect. Respect.” The crowd went wild. Flags waved and the sound of laughter filled the air. I got the tingles.
Test Run 09.02.17
Mark, Paul, Jess and I set sail to Aruba. This was a test run for Project Pacifico – just a mere 495nm, a three day sail.
We had a Cleaner, a Cook and two main sailors with 3 hour shifts during the day and 2 hour shifts during the night. As Jess and I were slightly apprehensive about solo night shifts we had one of the guys asleep on the deck with us just in case. We also had to be clipped on at all times during the night, and day if alone.
10.02.17: Today I was the cook.
Lunch: Beetroot, chickpea, tomato, onion, sweetcorn salad with honey mustard dressing.
Pudding: Chocolate, 1 square each.
The sea swallowed Mr. Froggy, the lure that worked his socks off. We found 6 flying fish on deck. Quads of Dolphins swam by.
11.02.17: “Please wake up I think there are loads of fishing boats ahead with no radar!” Jess pleaded to Mark. He didn’t even open an eye, “it’s the land you idiot!!!”
On arrival we had some good and bad news…
Bad: Paul no longer wanted to be part of Project Pacifico.
Good: Jose, from a boat two doors down, turned up with two plates piled high of BBQ meat goods. What a man!
Indulge and pamper are the words that ring true from our time in Aruba. From the moment we arrived at Renaissance Marina it was clear this was going to be one hell of an experience.
Shopping, running, cinema, and a plug to epilate! It was pure luxury, but rather bizarre.
The Great Provisioning
After weeks of populating my Project Pacifico Provisioning spreadsheet, the time had come. SuperFood watch out!
Tins, snacks, breakfast, condiments, spices, veg, drinks, kitchen, meat, carbs, health and boat ideas. Highlights included: 12kg of rice, 8 bottles of soy source, 40 cartons of milk, 2 flask mugs.
Our last memory of the Caribbean was an odd excessive Americanised retreat which strangely I really enjoyed. It was perfect for revitalising and stocking up.
As we sailed off I felt ready to leave the islands behind – the bright colours, booming music, sassy characters and general vavavoom of the country. It was time for the next adventure.