Posted by: Helena Smalman-Smith | September 18, 2011

Better progress to report

Despite the various unsatisfactory situations reported a few days ago, most of the resolvable ones of which are yet to be resolved, we’ve made some other good progress this weekend, largely by visiting the Southampton Boat Show.

We have bought the instruments needed for our navigation course which starts on Friday – 7” single-handed dividers and a Portland plotter which we were assured is more or less the same as the Breton plotter we were told to get (a kind of protractor with integrated ruler). Check.

Little wetsuit shoes (we have had so much conflicting advice about footwear) in the right sizes and different colours for the avoidance of Ugly Sister and Cinderella’s slipper incidents. Check.

A wee brass barometer (pure indulgence one the part of the crew member who is fascinated by weather – an attribute which will be more useful than usual on this trip). Check.

A Canary Islands Courtesy Flag which I’ve been failing to find for ages. Check (and MANY thanks to ocean rower James Green of for this).

The RIGHT compass as I’d managed to buy the wrong one by mistake online ages ago but not realised till it was too late to return it (thanks James too for being a pragmatic small business and swapping them). Check.

Gingham tablecloth. Check. (Only joking.)

We managed to restrain ourselves, though, from the temptation of polkadot fenders or tiger-print lifejacket covers.

But most importantly we had a very useful lesson from lovely Jim Cudd on how to use a Spectra Watermaker. This machine is our very best friend at sea, so the more we can understand about its care and nurture the better.

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