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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

70 days to go

When I mentioned to a friend that I would be departing on a solo circumnavigation of the globe in 70 days, her question was, “Is it business or pleasure?”

I am not sure if she really got the point.

Preparations for the project are coming along well though. The contract was offloaded to the firm that built her, Aquarius Fiberglas, putting her in a very safe pair of hands. That has also taken my mind off a lot of matter that might have nagged me forever.

When the core team began drawing plans for boat preparation, the idea was to have as many backs ups as possible without affecting the sailing ability of the boat. Consequently, we have a whole lot of new equipment and spares coming into the boat- new set of solar panels, a wind generator, a new diesel generator, new pumps, inverter, battery charger, steering gear, wind vane autopilot sensors etc. With data from the last voyage from Phuket to Kochi I can safely assume that she can  stay out at sea for about 600 days before touching any port- that is the kind of endurance that has been built into her provided nothing breaks.

While the boat’s preparation goes on at her usual mooring, we had a progress meeting at Delhi and it is heartening to note that things are going well and as per schedule. Plans for installing a system of some very expensive cameras went through a rough patch of weather and had to be scuttled. Nevertheless, like a true Naval officer, there is a plan B and I am in no mood to disappoint people back home by returning empty handed in that department.

Delhi was an opportune time for the defence PRO to catch hold of the “master and his prodigy” (as one news channel put it) and expose us to the media. His plan seems to have worked out well and in that department the project is in safe hands. Consequently, we established this blog as the official blog for the project (this was a private blog earlier) and as the Facebook page.

I got back to living in the boat now. The hammock is well pretty well set between the galley and skipper’s bunk. Work goes on by day but it is very pleasant in the evenings- a time that I keep to gather my thoughts and spend time in the company of books.

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