We have received a blog fresh from the PSP Logistics boat written by 'Round the Worlder' Nicola Edwards from Albany.
The logistics involved in organising a round the world yacht race are, as you can imagine, mind-blowing! As crew, we are lucky most of the organising is carried out by Clipper Race staff. One exception being the stopovers. The crew is responsible for everything involved in preparing the boat for the next leg.
When we arrive at a port we are greeted by Clipper Race staff and usually the entire Clipper Race fleet, as well as a case of beer, to welcome us and congratulate us on our safe arrival. Depending on the time of day we arrive we may go straight into a deep clean. The deep clean involves getting everything off the boat, including floor boards and the boat is given a thorough wash down and clean. The mattresses are taken out and washed and scrubbed. All personal kit is removed. Foulies are taken out and laundered. Life jackets are all inflated, checked and re-packed. Sails are removed from the sail locker and any repairs are made. We soak all the lines (ropes) in fresh water to get all the salt off them. A safety inspection of the entire boat is conducted - its fittings and safety equipment such as Epirbs, fire extinguishers, flares inventory, alarms etc. We then hoist someone up the mast to fully inspect the rig and its fittings.
An inventory is carried out on all the food and it is restowed after the lockers have been cleaned with anti-bacterial spray. The galley (boat kitchen) is thoroughly cleaned and all plates, cutlery, pots, pans and utensils are sterilised then washed and put away. The deep clean usually takes a day with all crew assigned different roles and it is a relief when it is done and dusted - we usually celebrate with a dinner and/or drinks after a nice hot shower!
Our schedule in port then usually involves a few days on boat maintenance which often includes servicing the generator, pickling the water-maker and servicing winches, refuelling the boat and various other jobs to improve the standard of living on board.
In some ports we take corporate clients out on the water on behalf of PSP Logistics, and usually are required to attend various Clipper Race events.
At the beginning of each leg, we have new crew joining us and we help them become familiarised with the existing crew, the boat and safety instructions. They are required to participate in a refresher sail which some of us will also join in order to help them settle back into sailing a Clipper 70.
As you can see there is a huge amount going on in port on top of making sure we get some R&R.
Out of all in port duties the biggest logistical nightmare is by far the victualling... which deserves its own blog so stay tuned!