Yacht Aditi

Eve of departure

Having hidden all the contents that we can’t stash anywhere sensible we have stacked them behind lee cloths in our unused bunks and we think we may be ready to go…..somewhere?

It has never happened before; the weather forecast is for no wind for at least the next 6 days and the UK will be hotter than many places far to the south. Some wind available across Biscay and more around Cap Finisterre. Looks like the ideal time to head straight for Spain once through the Channel. We will know more when we get underway.

Expected to be leaving at about the same time as ARC boat Merlyn.

We have today bent on the genoa, sealed the hole in the transom (hydraulic cable exits to the backstay rams), re-organised the sail locker for the tenth time having added more food and spares (yep sail locker is full of food stores), and we gradually stored the ‘no way Jose’ larger items like printers and laminators, set up the kedge anchor at the stern, and initiated/tested the satellite phone.

Afloat At Last

Packing up shore life was like traversing the last 400m of Everest with so many months of effort behind us but with the air thinning and the bitter cold setting, with legs of lead¬† and every day being the same it was a case of no way can we leave by our chosen date, to perhaps tomorrow, then again tomorrow, then maybe today surely, just a bit to do we will be out in an hour….four hours later and no end in sight.

That’s behind us now and although sleep walking we have reached the end of the beginning. We now live afloat (although yet to open the watermaker valves but can’t hear any trickling).


We would not have floated within this decade without the help of Sue, Mandy & Darren, Gethan, Johnny and other helpers yet to be identified.

The mainsail is now bent on and we plan to depart on Saturday 13th July after a sail trial with North Sails.

It has taken 2 days to stow 50% of our stuff and we again see some cabin floor here and there. Things that have had their place for two years are now moved and who knows where the new stuff went. Reaching for a spanner now yields a tin of beans and the rubber mallet is soap powder. Reverse logic does not apply as searching for soap powder does not then reveal a rubber mallet, nor in fact soap powder. It gets frustrating.


Why not make lists? Because time is marching on and our departure time is pressing. The engine has been run up for the first time in a year, the generator re-commssioned, deck cleaned, jack stays fitted, more parts ordered, rig inspections complete, new forestay and backstay fitted. Still dawn to dusk tasking.

Thank you for all the lovely good wishes and Bon Voyage messages. We look forward to setting sail!







Hair Care

We are experimenting with the protection of our stern gear by covering it in 100% Lanolin although in our case there was a little perfum added as it was intended for hair care. It adds a shine to the prop. At least we are not cooking with it but there is plenty left over and a long way to go.


The Mastic Treaty

Or Anode-r Half Day as it takes a long half-day to fit all of the 16 hull anodes. These are fixed with some mastic sealant to stop them vibrating as they erode and are locked off with medium strength Loctite.












We have been advised that where the disc anodes become too worn the bolt heads become acive and the anode drops off. Eventually the remaining studs have to be drilled out and then helicoiled to fit anodes again. This information immediately lead us to swap out a couple of older anodes.


Terrible Twins


Look we’ve had twins!

Are they identical?

Hang on we’ll check. Er no the blades oppose each other.

Which one is called Port and which Starboard?



Inspirational flash – we photograph everything…do we have an ID photo of the twins before removing them?

Yes thank goodness let’s put them back. Of course the very last under the waterline job and the M6 button head hex bolt sheared like butter….are we going back in as planned? Run up the tree house and retrieve left spiral drills, mole grips and extraction set not looking forward to a late night; but out came the stud with pliers. So now the worry is will the stern thruster twins stay put or whiz off into the deep? Lots of Loctite applied.

The Motherload?

One of many loading sessions involving numerous winched loads up to the onshore 5m deck level. We have lost track of the weight that we have onboarded but there are a few more shipments of this kind to come. So long as a dorade doubles up as a periscope we should be alright.


Trapeze Artist

We have a 450mm trapeze but nowhere to swing to. As the time for last minute tasks begins to expire it’s a question of finding scraps of raw materials to fabricate parts. There was just enough 6mm and 12mm steel bar knocking about on the floor to form the trapeze for the passarelle.






We are part way through making the 25mm steel pin for the transom so we are just missing the bit in the middle, the gangway and wheels.

Answer to Question Number 1?

So we wondered if it were possible, and if it proved to be so, how long it would take a family crew to manage a 60ft yacht and take it from ‘barely coastal’ to circumnavigation readiness? This excludes the many hours of packing up the shore life which eventually became a seriously high pressure job which we currently do 5am-ish to 9pm 7 days a week. We have no idea what day it is because it’s always the same; checking through a project deadline and ticking off tasks every three hours or so – and unlike the IT world this one is not going out to the right! There is no right to go to – weather windows, budget constraints, miles to travel, workshop decomissioned and so on; there never has been room to slip. We set a deadline almost three years ago and we remain on target against a schedule that in the corporate world would be deemed impossible. Amazing what a family crew can do with focus, drive and commitment.

Our thanks to Pete of Travis Perkins and our amazing friend Sue for easing the shore life exit.

There are a number of things outstanding as the departure date rapidly approaches but at this stage we can generally conclude that it has taken about 4,500 hours of boat work to reach the launch pad. this includes researching, sourcing, fabricating, installing, interfacing. It excludes on the water testing.

Most suppliers (equipment only) have been excellent and only one proved downright negligent, dishonest and willing to risk lives without a care. So the answer to Question #1 is 4,500 approximately. We have one key risk on the horizon which is a full rigging inspection once we drop in the water – fingers crossed we pass without issue.

Rats for a day

Leaving the sinking ship…..a laboratory experiment on yacht crews

We spent a few days at the Hamble School of Yachting to gain the Sea Safety, Sea Survival and First Aid Certificates required by the ARC. In the pictures we are learning to abandon ship, deploy a liferaft, minimise cold shock, manage a casualty, righting, boarding and maintaining a liferaft, and to put the human body into shutdown for longer term survival. Sea Survival, taught by ex-military specialist John, was excellent. All crew attended and the teenagers found it to be a brilliant and rewarding experience. Admittedly they no longer want to go even as far offshore as Bournemouth Pier.

Life inside an 8 man liferaft with a ‘comfortable’ 8 man crew (bouncy castle type floor space allocation of about 2 sqft each) even in the flat calm of a pool is very challenging; what this would be like at night in a bit of weather we never want to know but to have had some practice in ideal conditions. And adding more crew beyond the 8 man design in the event the space is needed would make a tough situation very gruelling.

Our thanks to Fiona of ARC 2013 entry True Colours for supplying the photos.

Sea Survival Sophie and Fran.JPGSea Survival - Righting the life raft.JPGSea Survival - Exhausted Aditi Crew.JPGSea Survival - David escaped.JPGSea Survival - John Kiss Tutor.JPG


Offshore lifejackets, although these are old, take a bit of handling







Righting an inverted 8 man liferaft









Crew Aditi after a number of lengthy swims in full foul weather gear.






Crew of True Colours having righted the raft





Our survival consultant, instructor and personal trainer John was a great no-nonsense yet encouraging live wire  who simply never stopped working making this a first class, definitely no picnic, kind of a day. If you wanted someone to raise your chance of surviving a crisis look no further.

Ship’s Cat leaves home

The Ship’s Cat is not going sailing with us and is moving out having packed his belongings. Crew morale will plummet without the ship’s cat chattering away throughout the day. How many other ‘hobbies’ require the total sheding, or shredding, of one’s daily existence. That’s the jobs gone, cars gone, house gone and now the Cat – there is no going back and the months ‘to go’ have slipped rapidly through weeks and now to hours as time becomes ever more compressed!


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