Things have been a bit hectic in the Fettler household of late as preparations continue. The project is a many-headed hydra and it often seems that seven new heads appear for each one we strike off.
One of the early ones to be ticked off was vaccinations and medical kit. Previously we carried nothing more than a basic first-aid kit, painkillers and some household remedies and, on occasion, we did a bit of medical improvisation, especially with super glue. However, this time we took medical advice and stocked up the ship's medicine chest:
|Hopefully we won't be needing this stuff. With thanks to |
Drs Becky Sutherland and Robert MacFadyen for their advice.
We invested in a few more items of equipment: a second-hand hand pump-operated desalinator (after buying this we found the exact same unit in one of our rarely used lockers! Looks like we have one for sale now), a SPOT satellite GPS messenger, which has a very handy OK button, and a VHF radio with in-built AIS.
Last month we threw a party and suggested guests bring us a tin of something tasty to consume on the broad Atlantic (it was our tin wedding anniversary, after all). So now we have lots of treats for the ocean crossing and quick meals for after heavy weather.
|Let’s hope we’ll get to use all of these. Thanks to all our guests!|
Jim’s also been working hard on a new galley arrangement as we’ve decided to switch to paraffin. This eliminates the risk of a gas leak and avoids the hassle of different gas bottles in different countries. We were carrying paraffin anyway, for our Taylor’s heater, so it make sense to have one fuel for everything. Besides, the vent to the gas locker was in a bad position and needed to be ‘bunged’ up every time we were under way to avoid flooding. A fond farewell to that hole in the stern!
We managed to find a pair of beautiful British-made paraffin stoves on the internet, which had been languishing in some warehouse since the Sixties. With a bit of inspiration from the Atom stove, Jim designed a new gimballed housing for the cooker, which we had made locally by a fantastic metal fabrication firm called Pentland Tech. Now it just needs to be installed in situ.
The boat was launched again on 9 April, the mast is back up and we've almost finished recommissioning. A new sprayhood should be ready shortly. Could be time to go for a sail - if we can manage to find the time...