We work as ecotourism guides (as well as biologist and boat captain) often on the BC Coast, but also as far ranging as the Arctic and Antarctic. We have an insatiable curiousity for the planet; all its hidden gems and what makes them tick. That and our love of sailing is what inspired us to sail around the Pacific in Narama, our tough and pretty little sailboat.
“The Victualling Board was responsible for the purchase, preservation and distribution to ships of all naval victuals………This wide responsibility opened the way, …….to wide spread peculation and dishonesty,……..Complaints from the captains of ships to the victualling commissioners were frequent and virulent, but rarely produced any improvement. ‘In the case of pork,’ ran a typical complaint, ‘the cheeks, ears feet and other offal of the hog were thrown in as part of the men’s allowance….’”(exert from Oxford Companion to Ships and The Sea).
With improved food preservation today, it is easy to victual for several months. But why that long? Well, we are not sure of price and availability in the Galapagos and French Polynesia is expensive. Add to our time in remote islands a couple of months at sea and it becomes apparent why we just lost another inch of our waterline. We decided to purchase our non perishable stores in La Cruz (Banderas Bay nr Puerto Vallarta) after hearing the dinghy dock in Manzanillo might like to charge us $10/day. So we spent the money on a couple of nights at the Marina in La Cruz to load up. A nice change to what has been a rolly anchorage. Have also loaded on fuel as hearsay says the fuel dock in Barra de Navidad was ripped off (rumour control is that a larger vessel forgot to untie) and that the diesel in Manzanillo is bad. Finally we took advantage of being alongside and had the lady from the local tienda bring down 8 garafones of potable water (19L each) that we poured into the tanks. So with all our jerry cans full we have 300L aboard along with the 100plus cans, 20kg flour, 10kg oats etc…. she feels a little heavy. It took us the better part of a day to fill every little corner of the boat and we have yet to start on fresh stores! If the full list fascinates you we’d be happy to send it.
When you think you are almost there, something always pops up.Like all of us who are ageing, we need a little more TLC as time goes by.Narama soon to hit the big 40 years is no exception.In fact it was during that TLC we were giving her that I found the hairline crack in the baby stay fitting.Until the stainless steel was nicely polished the crack was invisible. In the photo I have widened it with a little leverage, not something I should have been able to do by hand.So what would have happened had I not seen it and it broke at sea?Well at best we would see it go and re-secure it in some fashion after reducing sail quickly.At worst I guess we could lose the mast if we were really pounding or sailing hard.Moral of the story is there is more to brasso than vanity! Any way, I am off to the welders.