Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Packing the little ship "Southern Cross"

We’re packing the boat today,  been at it for four hours now. Nearly done.

Remember that this boats hull is just under 3.60m long, that’s 11ft 11 inches.  Tierra del Fuego has a very challenging  coastline, arguably the most dangerous on this planet and there are no opportunities to stop and resuplly. Everything needed to sustain life, sail the boat, keep dry, cook and eat, communicate with the outside world and survive if things go wrong had to be fitted in there.  All that plus four GoPro cameras with a box of fully charged batteries, a satellite phone, GPS navigation system, and much much more. The pile of gear was huge, plus all the boats sails, the cockpit tent and the two main and two secondary anchors had to be stowed and and and!  It’s a long list!

Just beginning, Howard is  making a detailed list showing where each item is stored so he can find everything when he needs it.  Good idea, I once pulled my cruising dinghy up on shore and stripped every piece of gear out of it in an attempt to find a bottle of port that I knew was on board.  Found it, it was the second last item left on the boat. Thats not practical when hiding from a Southern Ocean storm and its snowing!  

The heavy bags go in the bottom of the midships lockers, that improves the boats stability and by keeping the ends of the boat light it helps her sailing characteristics.

I'd guess that at this point we had more than half of the gear and stores on board, stowed away, and room for what you can see here plus some space to spare.

Seat cushions in place, the secondary anchors being rigged in their bags, hiking footstrap in place and most of the canvaswork fitted.  The blue item is a folding seat padded too. Look comfortable? This will be Howards home for up to 3 months, and that in near Antarctic conditions!
( Technically Tierra Del Fuego is "Antarctic territory". Not solid ice but seriously south.)

Almost done, just a couple more bags the water ( one of the lockers is dedicated to fresh water bottles so there is space for them too) and the bags you can see up there past the bow.  

But its all in there, a place for everything and everything in its place!
There is still space, the three lockers aft have not been filled yet, yes there is a bit more to stow but the boat has capacity to spare.  Amazing to watch it all disappear into the spaces under the cockpit, under the seats and into that big space forward.

The truck with the crane comes tomorrow, will take her out and swing her into the water alongside the museum, and all going well there will be sailing trials the next day.

We’re beginning to watch the weather forecasts!


  1. We'll go for a couple days of really nice weather then! Weather to be or not to be...

  2. Really enjoying the updates, photos and insights!!! Keep em coming!!!

  3. How highly organised this all looks - I have enough trouble sorting what I need for a week's camping and amazing that all that gear packs away into their spaces with space to spare.

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  5. Howard, at some point I would love to hear how your alterations to Scamp paid off, or didn't pay off. I'm specifically wondering about the transom seat level drain holes (did they ever allow water to enter as opposed to draining?), the auto bailers and the tent configuration. You might consider blogging about how these and other changes helped your boat perform under duress and how might you be changing things up in the future?