We’ve got whoseits and whatsits galore! If we ever sink Disney’s Ariel will be thrilled at the haul. Our girls were convinced that when we loaded the boat up with all our stuff it would indeed sink. This stuff does not comprise treasured possessions, those beautiful or useful objects from which we cannot bear to live, but is an array of scarily new and hitherto uncalled for items. All through the long winter months, John has trawled the internet, ordering charts, navigation chips and tool kits with impressive ranks of spanners. Christmas brought in a small library of almanacs and pilot guides. With the arrival of the life jackets we ran out of floor space in the spare room and had to stack. More safety equipment followed as Bill covered the subject on our Coastal Skipper course. We have attended many courses in an attempt to fit ourselves for the voyage and all have been excellent, though the outcome was always expensive. Our last course was down at Raymarine learning how to use equipment we already had on board, so we took the opportunity to take as much stuff from the spare room as possible with us and drop it off on Lyra, even though we knew there was still some work to be finished off by Berthon. We loaded up the car boot and set off south, our clothes and sleeping bags thrust onto the back seat.
We arrived in Lymington last Friday teatime. Lyra looked beautiful with her newly polished hull shining in the evening sunshine. Berthon had done an immaculate job fitting her out and we basked in the glow of new ownership. The weather forecast for the weekend was dire and the storm clouds gathered as we made several trips to and from the car with our new gear, which vanished into the various lockers. After taking photographs from every conceivable angle we had to tear ourselves away, as it made sense to come back with another load when the weather was more promising.
Then came the shopping trip for bedding and kitchen equipement. This took place in a couple of intense one hour sessions. It was reminiscent of shopping to equip the kids for for Uni, but with a lot of extra measuring to make sure the items would fit in the locker space and drawers.
At the end of it all the boat is more luxuriously kitted out than the kitchen at home. No pressure then. Bedazzled by the choice of shiny new pans I cooked our first meal aboard – lamb tagine and green beans. The pans were superb. The presentation was more in the style of Hairy Bikers than Raymond Blanc, but the taste was pretty good, especially considering I had forgotten to take the paper seal from the salt pot.