The programme ahead of Saturday’s start has certainly started ramping up and after an enjoyable sundowner at the Beach Terrace last night, it’s been a busy morning here in Tortola. We have welcomed the final rally boats to the marina, now there are 34 boats in Nanny Cay all with their rally flags flying & creating a great atmosphere.
Wednesday is the valuable safety demonstration day and first up on the breakwater we had a flare demonstration which included running through the 2 types of flares that WCC requires each boat carry on board; red handheld flares and orange smokes. We were able to explain how they should be stored and correctly handled with gloves and goggles. Peter Burch then showed the gathered crowd how to safely set them off. We then gave instruction to any participants that would like to fire off some flares, and for many this was their first try. Others have done courses before but you always learn something new...interestingly orange smoke flares, considered a day signal, could if needed be used at night as we have learnt that the rescue helicopters have thermal imaging cameras and will notice a 1 degree temperature difference so the orange cloud of smoke appears as a white blob on their screens.
Following the safety demonstration the ladies gathered for an informal chat in the Beach Bar. It was a great opportunity for experienced sailors including the circumnavigators on Mad Monkey and Salamander to share their knowledge with those newer to offshore passages. Sharing tips from galley storage solutions and comparing notes on sea-sickness remedies, it was a really useful opportunity to discuss practical tips to make life on board comfortable and happy for the six week sail ahead.
More of Nanny Cay’s famous painkillers will be shared this evening at yet another sundowner hosted by the Beach Terrace bar where Luis, Garth and the team are all looking after us extremely well. Tomorrow will be another day of checking off the to-do list, with an organised gas bottle refilling service and a trip to OneMart for the all-important provisioning trip.