Logistical Stuff

If only the only things that mattered were food, water, shelter, heat and love!

But right now I have a few lists that matter.  Now I am not adverse to a few lists, so when I began planning for sailing round the world I bought myself a new pad with little dividers and started to make notes in it; Kit To Buy, Kit To Take, Things to Do, Questions To Ask.  I thought my lists could be efficiently ticked off and that I’d have plenty of time to get it all done way before the start date.  It appears I was quite naive as my lists are still being added to and I’m not making a huge amount of progress with the original things that were on there.

I am beginning to realise that many things on my little lists are not actually that straightforward.  How hard can it be to renew bank cards that expire half way round, to get a USA visa (it’s a temperamental 3 hour, patience testing on-line process then a trip to the American embassy in London), to buy some sailing boots (I ordered the latest super-dooper ones at the London boat show in January, they still haven’t arrived and they can’t tell me when they are expected so I searched for another brand only to find that the ones I wanted started at a size 6.5, not good for my size 5 feet.  Finally I ordered a size 5 of yet a third brand from the internet, they have arrived and are too small – arghhh, I’ll have to stick with my £24.99 wellies for now) and finally, how hard can it be to find a decent quick drying yet supportive sports bra?

It’s not all disaster though.  I have managed to renew my passport, get my Aussie visa (USA take note – 10 minutes on line, job done!), have all my injections and get this blog up and running.

I am still facing some technical issues around the best phone/SIM combination.  Much as I’d really like one of ‘them there shiny new amazing, does everything for you iPhones’ it’s really not hugely practical in terms of contract and call costs for this ‘little trip’.  So I suspect I’m going to end up buying a new iPod and a cheap handset.  I’m also giving some thought to a netbook to update my blog on and download my photos too.  I did buy a MacBook Pro but it’s going to be just too big.  I’ve also bought a Kindle, which can hold up to 2,000 books and is lighter and smaller than just one book.  A helpful friend did point out to me that a wet Kindle is not a happy Kindle and that if you run out of toilet paper it is no where near as much use as a book!

Then there’s all the Birthdays and Christmas that I’ll miss.  I’m torn between feeling that I ought to leave behind gifts and cards for someone else to post on my behalf or just giving in to the ease of it not being top of my priority list as I get ready to go to sea for a year although I do feel somewhat guilty for that.  I have arranged two weekends with friends and family though where we will have early Christmas and Birthday celebrations.  The family event will take place on the beach in Devon, which I’m really excited about, as I know my Dad will love walking along the beach, playing boule and enjoying a San Miguel watching the sunset.

I’ve moved as many payments as possible to direct debit and am contemplating what to do about the rest of the post.  Who’d have thought an adventurer’s life could come down to such mundane practicalities – none of this stuff has ever been in any of the explorer’s books I’ve ever read.  As for the taxman, well he requires a bit more thought.  I guess he ought to be told that I’m not going to be working for a year and that I’d like a tax rebate for the first 6 months of this year thank you very much, but I have a suspicion that, that will be easier said than done.

I’m also having a dilemma about laser eye surgery.  My eyesight isn’t that bad but I do feel that if I’m going to see the best sunsets, sunrises, marine wildlife, stars and emotions on peoples faces in crystal clarity then I should have them done.  It’s a bit of a toss-up between going locally and going to London to see the Guru and as yet I haven’t quite made the decision, price and inconvenience sway me to the local surgery while common sense and personal survival sway me toward the guy in London.

Finally, there are the giraffe facts to brush up on before leaving and the crucial question of becoming a fact specialist in another species.  I’m not sure the giraffe has enough to sustain people’s interest for a year at sea, especially those that are stuck with me for the whole circumnavigation.  So, I’ve been giving bears some thought, which, in itself, leads to another dilemma.  There are so many species of bear to choose from; black, brown, polar, koala, bespectacled, yogi and crazy that I’m at a lose as to know where to start.  I’ll have to give it some more thought!

So on the whole my nice little lists have become a little overwhelming and I’m glad I started to sort some things out early on.  Doing one thing at a time helps but somehow other things to do keep getting added to the bottom of the list, well almost bottom as the taxman and selling things I no longer need on eBay keep claiming that accolade.  Bring on the time when I’m racing in a once in a lifetime adventure and the only things that matter are food, water, sleep, heat, safety and caring for other crew.

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3 Responses to Logistical Stuff

  1. Gillian says:

    Loving the updates – keep them coming. The site looks amazing!

  2. Superb writing Lesley….love your posts. I’d say, go with the guru when it comes to something as critical and important as your eyes! So proud of you!

  3. Carrol Plummer says:

    Lesley,
    The blog is looking amazing. I’ve had the laser eye surgery and I paid extra for the guru in Canada. The surgery was a great success – I only wish I’d done it 15 years ago. Go For It!
    I’ve just spent one week on one of the older Clipper Round the World Boats. It did 4 circumnavigations. It is now called the Aurora and sails out of Iceland. One thing to add to your pre-trip to do list…. find a good physiotherapist who can give you some isometric exercises to do in very tight quarters. As you know I usually do a bit of yoga each day but it was clear that this is impossible on the boat – just not enough space to even stretch your arms over your head. I think it will really help relieve tension in your back and neck and may help keep your legs a bit looser than they otherwise would be.
    We’ll keep an eye on your blog.
    All the best
    Carrol

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