Excalibur’s now back in the water, floating not sinking, and it’s a dream not to have to piss in a water bottle anymore. The engine starts up first time and looks solid as a rock. The the only noticeable issue is with the drinking water which tastes like rotten eggs.
Plans for the next few weeks
Next Thursday I plan to get Excalibur to Ramsgate over night. Friday night/Saturday morning if the weathers good we’ll set off for Gosport which is a 24 hour slog. Jerry the Rigger will be waiting for us on Monday morning to check out rigging, and hopefully North sails will take our main and chop some of the foot off as its too long. The weekend after that we’ll head to Weymouth. The week after that we’ll head for Plymouth, and the week after THAT we’ll have packed up work and will be sailing to Falmouth, finishing off our last boat jobs and waiting for a weather window to cross to Spain.
Now reality is kicking in, thoughts have turned to what safety equipment we still need to get sorted, like packing the grab bag (a bag of essentials should we need to abandon ship).
What’s in our grab bag?
On order we’ve got:
- First aid kit
- Seasickness tablets
- Condoms, for collecting water (don’t ask, it’s all over the internet)
- Waterproof torch
- TPA (thermal protective aid, like those marathon space blankets)
- 3 litres of water minimum (1.5lt each)
- 10,000 KJ pp food each
- Spare sea anchor
- Graduated drinking cup for rationing.
- Glow sticks for raving
- More food and water
- Polythene bags (what for I don’t know)
- Fishing line and hook (read about one guy who grabbed his spear gun before jumping into his liferaft, which saved his life)
- Copy of passports and credit cards
- Ziploc bags, see polythene bags, perhaps its for chasing your poo’s around the liferaft in heavy seas. Slippery buggers at the best of times
- Duct tape
- Rubber gloves, see ziploc bags…
- Swimming goggles, see rubber gloves
- Pack of cards (staying alive is a mental games, not just a physical one)
- Handheld GPS
and finally a heliograph which is essentially a signal mirror.
A heliograph provides an effective visual signal on a bright sunny day to attract attention. They have a range of about 20 nautical miles or 32 kilometres in good weather conditions.
Here’s some advice on food and water consumption if you have to abandon to a liferaft from https://tinyurl.com/yc7xkstj
How to issue food
The food provided in the raft should be rationed out in the following way:
- No food should be issued in the first 24 hours because the body’s needs can be met by the previous meal. Exception to this rule may be the sick and injured.
- After this first 24 hours, 125 g of barley sugar should be issued to each person per day. With 5 g per sweet it would mean 25 pieces per day.
- The food may be issued twice or three times a day.
- You can add fish, bird, seaweed or plankton but these must only be eaten if there is an extra water supply available since eating this food can make survivors thirsty.
- Below are some key issues for water consumption on board a survival craft.
- Coastal life rafts have one litre of water /person, in sealed containers (SOLAS, 3l).
- No water should be issued for the first 24 hours. Exceptions to this rule may be the injured and the sick. After this, 0.5 litre of water may be issued to each person each day at sunrise, midday and sunset.
- You need to drink the water slowly, holding it in your mouth and gargling before swallowing.
- All efforts shall be made to supplement water on the life raft by collecting rain water or through condensation.
- If extra water has been collected, it should be consumed first.
- Survivors should keep a lookout for rain and black clouds. Rainwater collecting in the tubes on the life raft canopy can be also used. Wash off the salt from the tubes before collecting water.
- When it rains, fill up every possible container. If rain continues, drink your fill and clean yourself.
- You can also collect water that has condensed inside the life raft canopy, using a sponge. Keep a sponge only for this purpose, making sure that salt does not get into it.
- It is very important that every ration of food and water is:
- properly measured
- issued within the sight of the recipients and the other occupants of life raft and
- is consumed there and then. It is the minimal amount for survival!
We’ve bought electronic charts for our chartplotter that cover a ridiculous area. For £457.99 you get Central & Western Europe, and Central & South America
That’s pretty much the update for now.