2014 Sailing South

Norfolk Portsmouth Provisioning

I made it to Portsmouth free dock at the end of High Street, tied up and settled down for the night. The next day I took the folding bike and set off to find the super big Walmart at the end of the street. Once inside it was hard not to shop however not having prepared I did not have anything to carry the goods in. I did purchase a sleeping bag and a new blanket for the crew. As I exited the store it started to snow – not small flaked but a white out. I tied the two parcels on the bike and set off, head down into the wind and snow. At some point I realized that I only had one parcel on the back of the bike. Turn round and retrace my path. Nothing to be found. This is a very poor area and I am sure the first local that saw a Wolmart parcel would have picked it up. My contribution to the poor cold underclass of downtown Portsmouth.

I was cycling along the footpath when a small truck (ute) stopped and the fellow got out. “Hi you must be a yottie with the boat in the dock?” “Yes that is me.” “Put your bike in the back and I will give you a lift.” “Thanks man that is just great” “Ok, I have sailed up and down the coast and I know what it is like.” What a great relief to be taken the few miles back to the boat.
That evening the snow came down and the new crew, Christine was flying in from the west coast, arriving after dark. She called – the taxi could not see the yacht in the dock and she was just down the road in a coffee shop.. I put on warm cloths and set out to find her. Not difficult. We then both trudged back through the snow to Malua. If that was a test of commitment she showed it. We retired below where the heater was going full blast. She soon found her cabin and was settling in.

Next day we did an inventory of stores. A knock on the hull after lunch and Bob was standing there to take us to Walmarts. Bless his heart he found the money owing and handed it to me. I hope it all goes well for him during his difficult time.
Off to Walmart with two lists and two cart. After three hour and almost $1,000 we where ready to return to Malua. Bob came to pick us up and take us to the liquor store to purchase some goods for trading. - Black pearls.
We now have the challenge to store four months of food on board.


Eating well on passage and while cruising is always one of the highest priorities on Malua. When I built Malua I constructed an extra large freezer and fridge so we could freeze meat and keep the beers and white wine cold. It worked well in the Pacific but started to require more time when I left the Med. I suspected it had leaked some gas so in Gibraltar I called the local refrigeration “expert” who vacuumed the system then tried to fill it with the correct gas. He did not have the correct gauges and had to guess the quantity of gas to add. Well crossing the Atlantic it started to go down hill and in the latter part of last years cruise the compressor was working but working hard.  It was time to replace the unit.

As with most technical things purchased in Australia the unit I had selected was no longer made so I called the Isotherm parts people to ask for a replacement. What followed was a third degree about the specifications of the holding plate, box size, insulation thickness and connectors. In the end I just stated “Will you sell me Unit xxyy for $Z – you have no liability about the functionality. I know what I am doing?” Yes But. Well it arrived. I installed it, connected up the tubes and then connected the refill can of 142A refrigerant gas with my gauges and started the process. It worked perfectly. The next day the freezer was at minus 8. Now to put some goods in it.
Estimating what we needed for the four month cruise is always a tricky job especially with a new crew member whose likes and dislikes I did not know. I had the Atlantic crossing as a guide but we were not able to get the fruit selection of the Canaries. As stated in the previous blog we were taken to Wolmart by Bob and spent three hour filling two trolleys.
The challenge facing us once we unpacked and listed everything was where to pack it. The large store space under the main cabin berth was empty after I installed the windvane so all the food not required for the first few months easily went into that space while the balance went into the plastic boxes designed to go into the space under the sink and workspace.
Christine listed stores and cataloged where they could be found while I packed the freezer. We are almost ready to go – just a few more items and a few more things to put in their right place.  Follow the next stage.....

Here are a few photos..
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