"I'll hae nae hauf-way hoose but aye be whaur extremes meet..." Hugh McDiarmid

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

gosport prep week

so eventually I managed to pack all my stuff up into the correct amount (and weight) of bags. success! three buses and one ferry later I arrived in gosport at midnight to join cv23 for prep week and the race. there were a few of us on board for that week and with others joining throughout we were a pretty busy wee boat. we got loads done but we did extend the jobs list massively as well...

we did all sorts of stuff, sorting the sails out, getting the specialist training we needed if we have a specific job on board, starting anti chafe protection up the mast and the victualling (doing the menus, buying the food, prepping the food bags and getting them all on board - a massive job)

I love climbing. anyone who knows me knows this. I just plain love heights. so when a volunteer was needed to go up the rig and do some work I was already tying myself into a halyard to be hoisted up the mast :) you get some great views from up there:

putting the elastic on the running backstays to stop sails getting stuck in there. our marvellous circus style canopy from above :)

view to port, everyone's very busy...
view to starboard

we worked some pretty long days, but generally had enough energy for the post work debrief in the pub by the marina ;) for me the longest day was the day we got our sails. four of us were dispatched up to the office to drag them out (on the grass) and flake them into bags, having labelled the corners and stuck all the glow patches behind the telltales. I had media training that day too, so had to disappear for two hours to do that. 

when I emerged from media training, the rain had been going for over an hour. everyone was drenched, the sails were covered in grass and spirits were low. we managed to get the ones that were out back into their bags, but it was pretty messy. the rest we left in their delivery packaging to sort out when it was dry...

the sails being sorted out before being packed in the sail locker...covered in grass!
 after the trauma of the sails, I went back up the mast. we had to put leather onto the spreader ends (to stop sails ripping or wearing when they are dragged across them) and also to splice spectra strops onto the spinnaker halyard blocks. sophie took a great photo of me doing the leathering on the top spreaders and I did a comedy selfie while doing the blocks. I am concentrating pretty hard in this one as my front facing camera on my phone is not great...

kate thinks this was taken by a seagull...
me putting the leather on the top spreaders. courtesy of sophie

anyway, six prep days later, and we were ready to go. we did a practice parade of sail for the media then left the next day. a week of delivery and training trip lay ahead of us. the calm before the storm is below:

lovely early morning photo of some of the clipper 70s during prep week in gosport :)

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