The “Daily Bag” – Jesse Fielding
OakCliff All AMerican Offshore Team
Its a battle to find some computer time with all of the racing and maintenance but today is as good a day as any to brief the inter-webs on some of the goings on in Offshore Ocean Racing Land.
The “Day Bag” is somewhat of a science experiment, part math project, part R and D. THe provisioning process for the Transat on Vanquish is a culmination of data collected on the Block Island Race, Annapolis to Newport Race and our offshore Training Session. We took note of how much freeze dried made the optimum meal, how many bars the crew needs for certain modes of sailing (hard running with lots of grinding vs. upwind), and other data points like how much water we need, burn rate on paper towells/toilet paper/paper bags/sunscreen/gatorade powder etc etc. We tried different brands and different products within our budget and put together a specific supply list for each day. Those supplies go into large plastic tote bags, labled for each day of sailing and are brought forward from their stacked position one time per day. This process provides one more aspect of discipline to the offshore experience and one that keeps the crew well supplied but not focussed on fending for themselves on an hourly basis which would distract from the task at hand which is racing the sail boat. When the paper towells are gone for the day, use the sponge; when the coffee is done for the day its done and we all self regulate which is the sign of a good team.
In the Galley there are different pouches with fan favorites such as a “Texas Pete” hot sauce (pronounced onboard “Tehas” Pedro), Sweet Baby Rays BBQ, rations of bars, each freeze dried meal, oatmeal etc. We can come down in the middle of the night and know where to find one of our 4 daily bars, or some blue gatorade powder for our 11th Hour Racing Water bottle.
The head is a world in and of itself and and due to our exit strategy from a particularly large wave yesterday morning, our private luxury head is now a lot more public. The head door sheared off its hinges and went TKO to leeward. It was another speed bump for the team today but as we have cleared today’s speed bumps like the head door, water maker, water tight forward compartment and grinding the boat upwind in 18 knots the team has become stronger for it.
Mary Jane Farms
The saga pertaining to aquiring the Vanquish freeze dried supply for the fastnet race was nothing short of arduous…Given fears that the world was going to end on something called “The Rapture,” and a series of global crisis, freeze dried availablility of the stock standard Mountain House brand was in short supply. What could be found in various venues did not meet our needs as a team for the Transat and Fastnet races. We needs four full cans (ten servings per can) of the same flavor. We need 2 full meals a day and therefore need a grand total of 28 meals, or 112 cans of freeze dried. We searched out door stores, internet retailers, Mountain House direct, tried out other brands such as Back Packers Pantry, Nitro, a Norweigan Brand and had trouble with either the exposure to foreign exchange rates or availability. In our travels to REI, an outdoor outfitters, we tried a package of a new Organic brand called Mary Jane’s Farm. As soon as we tasted the first packet we called the number on the back of the environmentally friendly packaging and found out how to order in bulk. Its a real pleasure to work with a company that has the agility to fire off a full order in a matter of days; and the Vanquish is lucky to have their product onboard. Everyone loves the food and we would wager we are eating better than most on the race; minus SOJANA and PHAEDO and Maltese Falcon. Its not five star Michelin but its the best meal you have eaten in the last 8 hours so no complaints from us.
Off to the bunk for some shut eye before the next battle begins.