​Big News! 

Day 87: 26th January 2017 – Day 109: 17th February 2017

We arrived in Grenada ready and raring for Grenada Race Week.

But let’s get down to business… THE BIG NEWS: I know what you’re thinking and, no I am not pregnant! 




Project Pacifico

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.

Prior preparation prevents piss poor performance
Fruit Salid 3 finishing a solid last in every race but by gum we had a ball! 
Still smiling of course!

After a week of sailing and partying I was ready to focus on the elephant in the room:

Project Pacifico

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.  

We headed to the stadium where locals of all ages congregated, including the President!
Everyone was head to toe in the National colours: Red, yellow and green. Their eye shadow, hair, clothing, hats, flags, beads, earing’s, bracelets, hair ties, balloons, braids, bags… It was a memorable sight.

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. 

The new rota from Billio, a fellow ARC boat.

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. 

Happy crew

10.02.17: Today I was the cook. 

Lunch: Beetroot, chickpea, tomato, onion, sweetcorn salad with honey mustard dressing. 

Dinner: Chilli con carne with gluten free bread

Pudding: Chocolate, 1 square each. 

We set the sails to Goose Wing and I may have unplanned gybe… Twice.

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!

Treat Yourself
 

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. 

Starting with a Piña Colada by the pool, followed by a session at the gym and finishing with a spa shower. We were living in style.

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! 

We spent 7 hours selecting the necessary products with a trolley for each month blocking the isles.

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. 

16.02.17: Prepare boat. Food stowed in months.

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.

The three musketeers set off to Panama. 

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. 

Pigeon prepared

3 thoughts on “​Big News! 

  1. This was a good read. Looking forward to the next installment. Good luck with the next stage of your trip….fair winds! (as they say) x

    Like

  2. Super photos George, great colours!! Can’t imagine planning three months food in advance… it’s hard enough thinking past the weekend!

    Like

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