Saturday, 17 March 2012

Mariquita's New Season; Here We Go Again!

Isn’t it nice to feel wanted? Having avoided blogging for a whole month due to lets say - Life - I feel it's time to return to the keyboard and once again divulge recipes and classic boat adventures, spurred on by popular demand.

When I say popular demand I mean my Mum asked me when I was going to blog again so I thought I’d best get on it.

I was pondering on the metaphor of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis as Mariquita is freed from her winter state in preparation for the new season ahead. But then I thought that was all a bit flouncy for the roughty-toughty sailor that I am so instead I’ll just tell you how good she is starting to look as we take off her protective deck covers and cap-wrap. Her cap rail has been sanded and has a lovely new coat of varnish. George and Billy have been re-rigging and once again the mast base is maze of freshly varnished and leathered blocks awaiting halyards and jiggers. Our hands have suffered from sanding and sewing leather and now that the sun is more out then in we have had to dig out the sunscreen from the bilges for regular application.

New crew! We have had quite a crew change for the season ahead so a big ‘Hi’ please to Adam, Pippa, Catherina and Martha! Yesterday they all had the mildly frightening introduction to the Mariquita Crew Manual; an instruction guide to their racing positions which when read through on dry land can seem somewhat overwhelming. But even so we are all getting pretty excited about the up and coming season ahead and putting some sails up.

We are UK bound. We plan to set sail from here in Cogolin in the South of France, April 12th.  The journey will take us through the Gibraltar straights, into Atlantic waters up past Portugal, Spain, a hop (we hope) across the infamous Bay of Biscay and into English waters heading for home. In the next few weeks I shall be stocking up and provisioning, pre-cooking and praying for flat seas; the memories of cooking dinner whilst off the coast of Portugal in 40 knots of breeze, the fruit bowl (and me) flying across the galley whilst Mariquita slammed into huge waves, are still reasonably vivid.

Then whilst in the UK we have very busy schedule training and racing and getting involved with all sorts of exciting ‘events’. More of which I shall let on when I’ve been given the go ahead from the Captain, but suffice to say I’m sure you’ll want to stay tuned for ‘hot off the press’, inside info.

It’s all so exciting!

33 Degrees will be a year old in a few days. I was just looking over some of last years blogs and it is great to read and remember the adventures and food and experiences we had.

Here’s to more of the same.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back shortly with recipes, rigging and reflections on life aboard a beautiful classic sailing yacht preparing for the long sail home.