Thursday, July 03, 2008

Keeping scurvy at bay

For all the major passages I've undertaken before, I've provisioned (food, water, diesel) immediately prior to departing. Our last major provisioning stop was 14 days before we left Vanuatu in Luganville and we currently estimate 19 days from Vanuatu to Darwin, meaning our water, diesel and food will have to last out for 33 days - 10 days longer than the passage from Galapagos to the Marquesas. Of course we could stop at Thursday Island, but that feels like cheating and we're both keen to get to Darwin - why stop if you don't need to? That said running out of garlic so early on has made me check the other essentials. We have 12 days left to Darwin with:

11 onions
14 lemons and limes
4 pamplemoose
2 papaya
5 bananas
3 aubergines
5 eggs
10 potatoes
3 yams
3 sweet potatoes
1/2 bag of flour
1/3 tank of water
2/3 tank of dieselFortunately we have spare water and diesel so we're not going to pass out from dehydration or lack of power - though both are heavily rationed - quite how rationed only those who meet us before we make it to the showers will ever know...

As well as garlic we've run out of cheese, Swedish crispbread and fine French wine, although it seems we didn't have any of the last two items onboard to start with...

We have a locker full of cans, rice and pasta so no need for an emergency airlifted food parcel yet, although if it contained garlic, some fine cheeses and wine (for me) and crispbread to keep Charlotta happy that would be quite a result.

We'll have a few days after entering the Great Barrier Reef and while passing through the Torres Straight when the fishing probably won't be so good; anyone know if salt water crocodiles taste good? So I decided to try preserving our excess fresh fish. We've now two sealed jars of fish stew; one tomato based and one satay sauce based (I cheated on the last one). I found a couple more jars that could be used for additional preservation so we put the line out again. Very quickly the line screamed out in a way which could only suggest a monster fish. We slowly, but efficiently took up our "major fish incident" positions; thick gloves, gaff at the ready, all ropes out of the cockpit, cushions stowed in case of a blood-bath - only to discover that our monster fish had escaped before the battle commenced. Tomorrow we'll have two lines ready...

Will the Australia quarantine authorities believe us when we arrive in Darwin without any fresh stores, will they validate our story by checking us for signs of scurvy?

Position @ 19:00 (GMT +11): S12° 26.3' E151° 23.7'
Distance to Raine Island Entrance: 433
Daily run: 136

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