The time has come!
It’s been five weeks since I shook hands on my biggest purchase to-date, now it’s finally time to make it real and sail her home. Jason, the 33-year-old pilot who has called Kuna home for the past three years, has been awesome enough to offer to deliver her to Brisbane while teaching me to sail along the way. We’re also joined by his good friend Nicola, an ABC journalist (one of her most recent stories here) who has done two weeks of sailing on Kuna previously between Melbourne and Sydney.
We had planned to leave today, after replacing all of Kuna’s glavonised rigging with shiny new (expensive) stainless rigging. Alas, project creep ensued when the bolt in the turnbuckle holding the headstay completely snapped (better in here than out there) and the part won’t arrive ’till tomorrow, we had to take the whole furler off, an important pin was lost, and Jason had to climb the mast more times than I could keep track of to drill out stainless and aluminium holes from 3/8 to 5/8 … At this stage it looks like we will be departing tomorrow.
Planning to sail 24 hours a day, taking 4 hour shifts each at a time, should put us in Brisbane within a month, stopping only for bad weather or fuel. Provisioning for the trip is important. So with no freezer, meaning fresh meat wouldn’t exist after week 1, and the wise words from Jason that “we ate a lot of chocolate last time”, I began to map out a plan. The process went a little like this:
Being new to this I spent some time scouring the internet for hints and tips on everything from provisioning, to cooking on a boat, to storing the rubbish, and was thankful when I found theboatgalley.com who really do go through everything you need to know, including a one month provisioning spreadsheet!
I then began writing out a meal plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks each day, taking into consideration the fact that Nicola is a vegetarian (thankfully one of the rare ones who will eat fish, tuna, and doesn’t mind picking the meat out of meals – phew!).
I tried to keep the recipes to 4-5 ingredients, while substituting things like spinach/lettuce for longer life items like cabbage, and looking for longer lasting meat alternatives including salami, tinned tuna, and vegetarian sausages (they actually taste really good!). Meals include things like scrambled eggs, breakfast burritos, oats, cereal, stir fry, curries, chilli, tacos, pasta bakes, rice dishes, wraps, and lots of snacks.
Once the meal plan was done I could work out how much of each ingredient was needed for each recipe and come to a total, then split all of the ingredients into their respective shopping isles so we wouldn’t be back tracking. Nicola and I consolidated our separate lists, taking in all of her knowledge from the last trip she did, and headed for the shops.
Being two chics who love cooking we went a little bit crazy at the shops… Jason certainly picked his crew well and I have a feeling he’ll be fed a constant stream of food for the next 4 weeks! But we also grabbed extras of things like pasta, jarred sauces, noodles and packet foods that would make for easy grab and go meals in places where 5m swell is common.
We were efficient shoppers and hardly did any back tracking, but once we had easily filled two trolleys and the shop lights had been turned off we knew we’d overstayed our welcome! $900 later and we were probably more ready for 6 months of sailing than one month, but we were surprised to find it averaged out to less than $150 each per week for food. Not bad at all considering we bought all the chocolate, brie and nuts we could!
Winds tomorrow are looking a little bit against us – Jason says the southerly change means we’ll be doing a lot of tacking, and Bob (lovely neighbour at the Marina) has warned of the Backstairs Passage between South Australia and Kangaroo Island which ships aren’t even allowed to cross when there’s current against swell.
Regardless, we’re all very excited to be underway!
Feel free to leave hints, tips, advice or just some outright encouragement in the comments below – I’m new to this and need everything I can get!