Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Askari out in the cold

That's it Askari has left the shed, she's all painted on the bottom and is now in the testing bay at Wroxham, her final stop before she goes to be launched. Andrew and I will now be monitoring the weather in the UK knowing our girl is outside.

Ready for testing

In other exciting news our boxes arrived in the UK and are being delivered to Ipswich tomorrow and we have ordered our ensign.

The ensign job turned out to be harder than we thought as Australian yachts can either fly the Australian Red Ensign or the National Flag - so research was required. We learned out that it is 'right and proper' to fly the Red Ensign (thanks to our etiquette guru Eva), we then had to find one that wasn't printed polyester and then check the size. We learned that the ensign should be 1 inch for every foot of boat length so a 1.5 yard, fully sewn, ensign has been ordered for Askari. We also ordered some courtesy flags including the UK which felt a bit strange - that also had to be checked, and we confirmed that you should not fly the union flag but also the red ensign also as a courtesy flag. The Union Jack is a land flag and should not be flown at sea by cruising yachts, according to the RYA who would know!

70 days to go.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

475-02 Cruising World Review

We just received this review of 475-02 - she went to the USA. During our last trip we had a good look over her - she is quite different to Askari inside due to the darker teak interior. Her sail set up is also very different and she has a large rubbing strip added to the side. She's a lovely boat though....

Cruising World Review

475-02 Askari's sistership

Monday, February 15, 2016

Crew, bedding & spares

Now Askari is taking shape these guys are starting to take interest..... they're even talking about coming sailing and diving with us. As a result we changed our bedding order today to accommodate potential crew.
Andrew sharing videos of Askari with James, Jon and Nat - they loved the TV lift too
Bedding finalised

Carolyn is quite excited about the bedding which will be satin stripe bamboo fabric. Kate at Oyster had arranged for us to have a sample pillow case so we tested it out at our AirBnB Cottage over the weekend, sleeping on it, washing and tumble drying it - looks and feels great! Nauteriors are making it for us with piping to match the head board so it should look fantastic.

Spares finalised

Also at our meeting today we agreed all the spares we will take; it's a pretty long list including 164 items, even though we have tried hard to prioritise those things that are essential in case of a breakdown at sea. We have built a lot of redundancy into Askari we hope we will be able to do without some equipment, rather than have to carry spares for absolutely everything. Oyster have a fantastic service where they will source and ship items for your boat anywhere in the world - they will keep a catalogue of everything onboard Askari so we can just call them. 

To help us identify any potential issues we may have they also took us through the warranty lists on the first two 475s which we both launched last season and we were very pleasantly surprised with the nature of the issues and how they had been dealt with.

We left a few beers for our builders and took one last look at Askari - the last time we will see her until she's in the water.

Next time I get to sit here she'll be floating

Last look in the yard

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February Progress

Cockpit, nearly complete

Dive Compressor secured in lazarette

Cockpit Table Lighting on the back of Nav-Pod ( Carolyn's idea)

Aft Heads - Complete and we love it

Dressing Table in Aft Cabin

Galley nearly complete, Andrew inspects the engine access

Avonite Surface in the Galley - sparkly!

Saloon Aircon set up

Oyster Royal Dalton

Hand Rail - Designed with Andrews input

View from the back

Looking quite at home

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Wow factor - 80 days to go

Yesterday we spent the day at Oyster in Wroxham and spent about 5 hours on board Askari. The team had worked so hard to ensure we got the most our of our visit by tidying up and finalising the shore power and lighting. The objective of our visit was to highlight any issues with the finish that didn't meet our standards and we were totally amazed; despite crawling all over the boat and going through every cabin and every compartment we only found about 3 things the team had not already picked up.

This was one of the highlights - we love the fact that the team are taking such pride in our boat and going above and beyond to think of small things that make a difference.

We are back on Monday to finalise spares.

More pictures to come soon.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Askari on the move

As planned, Askari has come out of the shed in Wroxham where she has been for the last 10 months, for system tests, etc before she gets moved to Ipswich for commissioning. We get to see her on Friday and I am beyond excited - 85 days to go!
Doors are open....

Peeking out into a cold February Day.
A few adjustments
Manoeuvring in the busy yard 
And there she is!

Planning provisioning

Today I have been going through some of our old lists - medical equipment and provisioning. The medical lists were pretty standard but the provisioning lists made me laugh quite a lot. I kept a spreadsheet of every item of food we had, where it was stored and when it had to be used by - very organised! We had names for all the lockers and many were in line with the name of the shops where you might generally buy those goods, so we had Threshers for wine storage (not sure they still exist), WHSmiths for stationery, etc but we also had Bungy Heaven and Tin Tardis..... I wonder what we will call the lockers on Askari??

From our Atlantic Crossing List:

- Despite reading heaps of cruising books that tell you to eat what you eat at home - I had 65 tins of meat/fish on board - yuck! And we ate one tin of tuna and just one Fray Bentos Pie; every sailing blokes favourite (I think i cooked it for fun and Andrew loved it).

- In total I had 996 items of food for the crossing and we got through 319 - we were not going to starve.

- We had 24 eggs, 22 got eaten and 2 broke. We had 10 fresh tomatoes and two went squishy. That's all the wastage I noted and I am sure I through away much more than that most weeks.

- Hot Chocolate Sachets were a favourite - can't remember the last time I had one, but we got through 15 in 3 weeks.

- We used a whole tub of Bisto - how very English we were (that's gravy mix for non-Brits).

- We had 4 Spanish Omelettes - I remember how yummy they were, pre-made and available from all Spanish Supermarkets. Cannot wait to search them out again and of course the Iberico ham.

- We used 49 bottles of water - that amazes me as we had a water maker; and these days we always drink water filtered from the tank. I think I might have had a complex back then about tank water?!?

- The only fresh fruit we had left on arrival was "Half a Green Melon", we did have onions and carrots though.

- We had six loaves of par-bake bread - I remember hunting that down in cahoots with other cruisers in Las Palmas so thought we would have had far more than that...

- We had a whole load of items labelled SunSail which confused me at first but then I remembered we met a charter boat in Lanzarote who emptied their cupboards at the end of their trip and gave us all this strange food.

- Ask Andrew and he says we never really drank on passage, however on our Atlantic Crossing we actually drank 33 beers and bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne - it was new years eve! We actually had 50 bottles of wine on board when we left the canaries which I think was a pretty good effort. We even had wine stored in the shower.

It's a great list to have to help us get thinking about what we might need on Askari and it took me back to such a special time. So I dug out this old photo of me preparing to stow the goodies....

Saturday, February 6, 2016

What a lot of knobs!

Oh okay they're switches but just soooo many - the AC/DC panel has been completed.....

We have been getting organised this weekend as next week we are flying to the UK; so the spare bedroom is full of all the 'stuff' that's coming with us on our penultimate trip. That includes everything from the EPIRBS and safety gear to the Nespresso machine and my favourite Jimmy Choo handbag.... Nothing I like more in my life than a good contrast!

We also heard that Askari is being moved tomorrow from the build bay at the yard to an area where the boot tops (lines around the waterline) can be sprayed. We are hoping to see some good pictures but are very excited that we will get to see her next week.

It's quite interesting as earlier this week we were both feeling a bit overwhelmed but this weekend it's all changed and we just cannot wait to start our adventure and just want to go now. Andrew is travelling for most of the next month with work and hopefully after that we will be on serious count down....

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Setting up winlink

Andrew is looking very serious tonight trying to set up Winlink on the new SurfacePro 4 for Askari

Success - Our first grib file (weather)

Oh and I've figured out how to update the blog from my iPhone so this is a test!