Preparations for the big crossing
After a great stay in Santa Cruz and exhausting first weeks, we were all excited to cross the Atlantic Ocean. However, in order to be ready, we had to prepare well. Once we start crossing, we will be far away from any kind of civilization. There will be no supermarkets, DIY stores or hospitals close by. Hence, we have to care for ourselves and bring everything we need. So Friday, 17th November was the „Big-Preparation-Day“. In the morning everyone got a task for the day and we were all divided into different groups, or rather, task forces.
I joined the group in charge of provisions and we went grocery shopping. The fun began when we arrived at the supermarket. We had to buy food for 50 people for 30 days. First, everyone got a big shopping cart. Everything in this supermarket was gigantic. It was a huge hall and looked like a DIY store. We quickly started to look for all the items that were on our shopping lists: water, vegetables, fruits and all the other things we needed. We put everything on our carts, always as much as we could carry. If a cart was completely loaded, we pushed it in front of the checkout and left all of them there in a row. It was not always easy to push these carts around, because you always had to make sure that nothing fell off. But I still really enjoyed it, it felt like driving a heavy loaded truck through the supermarket. Or maybe like a big container ship, and I was the captain.
Once we stood in front of a product, we needed to decide which brand or type we liked the most and estimate the right amount of it. We bought almost all the coconut milk they had and someone needed to bring us more haloumi cheese for instance. It always felt a bit strange when Carlotta asked for 400 fresh eggs, 100 kg butter or 120 litres of orange juice. It was a bit more than the usual shopping for a family but so much fun being able to just buy, buy, buy!
I think we packed around 20 fully loaded shopping carts in the end. One part of our groceries was brought to the ship by staff from the supermarket and we drove the rest to the Thor by ourselves. That was the reason for some other very funny moments. For example, Anja and I needed a couple of minutes to lock the transporter we had rented. First, one door stayed open, then another, then this one was closed but another still open – it felt like one of those magic boxes where you have to solve the riddle. The solution was to go inside the car, close it from there and open the left door in the right moment. Equally funny was our interpretation of riding a shopping cart: One of us was sitting inside and gave orders in which direction the other one should push: Hard astarboard, amidships, ready to jibe. Another memorable situation was putting the huge tomato cans we had bought into the transporter by forming a chain of people. The exact same movement, 30 times in a row – we completely felt like machines.
After around five hours we all had only eaten a kaki or an apple by that time – we finally left the supermarket. When we arrived at the ship, we found that the rest of the crew had already completed many other tasks, such as repairing some sails, painting the bulwark or bunkering 10.000 litres of diesel for our machine and the generator. Of course, we would all love to just sail every day but in order to meet our schedule and compensate for wrong winds, we often need to turn on our machine and that burns around 500 litres of diesel per day.
So all in all, there was a lot to be done before we could start the next big stage of our journey, the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. I am really excited now, and one thing is for sure, with all this food we bought, there will be no chance of starving.