Sink or Swim?

ImageOur first “training session” since we announced we wanted to sail round Mallorca got off to an inauspicious start when we developed a magnetic attraction to a mudbank  a few metres away from the boat slip and were completely unable to tack smoothly out of the inlet with the style and grace we felt our mission required. Eventually Nick jumped over the side, took hold of the painter and towed Rocky out, to the amusement of a gentleman on a nearby motorboat.

                “Is that how it’s meant to move?” he asked as he bent over a couple of 150hp engines.

                “It’s easier than any other method at the moment,” Seb replied as Nick flopped back over the side.

                The water was freezing and the experience made us realise that there are a few items we need before we begin a 160 nautical mile trip. Number one on the list is a second paddle! This morning our parents announced they are going to get us a PLB (personal locator beacon) which one or other of us must have strapped to our leg at all times. It will send out a GPS signal if we activate it which alerts rescue services, and our parents, if we get into serious trouble. It will be better for us than an EPIRB which becomes automatically activated if it’s submerged, as there’s a strong possibility we may be submerged fairly frequently.

                However, there are also other things that we are going to have to beg or borrow from Very Nice People if we don’t manage to win the lottery before July 6th. We definitely need some of the modern light lifejackets if we are to avoid frying; a role of sail repair tape is also a good idea as the sails are none too new and will be lucky to escape without a tear or two; a bailer would be useful in addition to our sponges plus a few small shackles in case any more of our split pins break on the stays, like one did today. We’d also like to find someone who could print Mediterranea’s logo on a long burgee that we can fly from the masthead. We have some of the charity’s stickers to put on the side of the boat but we’d like to make their logo even more visible.Image

                Kay Halley from Portals Nous Universal Bookshop was our first Very Nice Person to give us practical help, she’s already done some laminating for us and we will be taking our charts there for the same treatment once we’ve sliced them up into dinghy-sized coastal portions.

                Food is one of Nick’s preoccupations, and the possible lack of it at any point on the route lead him to announce that he would “beg if necessary!” So if anyone sees a very tall teenager accosting strangers with the words, “I’m growing, please feed me,” it would be very kind if you could throw a crust in his direction to give him the strength to continue on his way to find a shop. Even on our minor sail today, substantial ship’s rations were packed and the only remaining evidence of them when we arrived back were a couple of banana skins.

                Seb’s mum has just given us a couple of passes to Palma Boat Show so we’re off there now to see if we can drum up some more support for SailAid before we have to begin studying again.

If you would like to sponsor us, please get in touch through the blog or Facebook and we will get a sponsorship form to you at the speed of light.  Alternatively, it is possible  to donate directly to the Mediterranea bank account at Banca March in Portals Nous (Account Name: Organización no gubernamental Mediterranea, Account Number: 0061 0178 52 0048520111) or via PayPal through the Please put your name and “SailAid” on any donations through the bank or paypal so we know who all you great people are.