Archive for the ‘Clothing’ Category

South West Coast Path – Clothing

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

28th January 2016

As it happened it wasn’t cold despite being January. It was however wet and windy and it was interesting to see whether our clothing was up for it. My Montane jacket made from Event was already leaking during my bike ride to work so I decided to buy a new one. There was a Mountain Equipment jacket made from Gortex Active on sale so I bought that because it was the only one with a decent fitting hood (list £200, sale price £160 ish). Grit had a Mountain Equipment Pro Gortex jacket that was about a year old. It was leaking so badly that she wore a £1.90 poncho under the jacket to try to keep some water out. My brand new jacket also let the water in, firstly on the shoulders then all over. We were both wearing Devold merinos under and they were wonderful. They kept us warm despite being wet. The great thing is that they dry reasonably quickly and they don’t smell at all. I wore Arcteryx high trousers made from Gortex Pro Shell with merino Long Johns under. I was never hot nor cold but in gale force horizontal rain it powered its way through so I wasn’t dry. They cost around £400.00 but are about four year old. My socks were Devold Action Socks and they were amazing. My Mammut boots were waterproof until ploughing through one foot deep flooded roads. The Mountain Equipment gaiters were helpful but a seam ripped apart and needs mending. Grit’s Scarpa Boots did seem to leak but we haven’t tracked down how. My Osprey Rucksack might as well been a string bag as it provided zero protection from the rain. Waterproof dry bags inside did do the trick.

The morale of the story is that we were clothed from head to foot in Gortex and were soaked. Basically it doesn’t seem to be able to cope with really bad weather. Would it have been better to wear loose fitting totally waterproof PVC clothing in these wet conditions? Probably. The merinos however were wonderful.

Having to wear a £1.90 poncho under a £300.00 Pro Gortex jacket seems a bit weird!

Having to wear a £1.90 poncho under a £300.00 Pro Gortex jacket seems a bit weird!

Beating into an Arctic Blast

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Position N68,54.7 x W013,08.8.
Now the wind has moderated and the genoa is up but it is tough making any progress to the west. The last two or three days have had us beating into icy cold winds and a lumpy sea with double reefs and yankee. The lee rail has been under and waves have been sweeping the decks most of the time. Sumara headed west as long as she could to avoid the stronger winds to the south. Thembi was under storm jib and triple reef having caught the more powerful winds to the south. Thembi’s last position (1800 last night) was N68.29 x W10.58. Our plans have changed slightly as we haven’t made much progress towards the Greenland coast. John is running out of time for his flight so Sumara will call in at Isafjordur to drop him off. Thembi have also run a long way south so they may call in a Husavik and then possibily Isafjordur. Sarah may well be there having returned from Jan Mayen on the yacht Aurora. There is a boat festival in Husavik this weekend. It is very
tempting but it would blow out our chances of getting to Greenland which is
still Sumaras priority.
We have been living well despite the very cold conditions. Charlotte knocked up a great curry last night and we have even been having hot lunches. Charlotte always moans that she is a useless cook but everything I’ve eaten has been really yummy. I’ve discovered that my Icebreaker socks were making my feet cold. For some reason they don’t make them big enough. As soon as I took them off my feet were as warm as toast. I wear Kari’s felted
Norwegian slippers down below and have been known to sleep in them. The best boot socks so far were a present from Sarah, they were MOD issue Arctic Grade socks and were loose and thick and soft. You definitely need different socks onboard to on land.
We have all been wearing about six layers of thermals and oilies. Charlotte and John have even been wearing their Primaloft Belay jackets under their oilskins. There was talk of Primaloft underpants but lets not go there. You need the layers because a lot of the time you are just sitting still. I’ve just changed sails and the burst of activity has caused me
to boil over. Sumara has been taking on a bit more water than expected in the rough weather. We can’t work out why, maybe the cockpit sole maybe the anchor hawse pipe or forward vent. About 50 strokes per three hour watch keeps the bilge dry so we won’t sink.
The distance to Isafjordur is 286nm. It looks like the wind will die out soon so we will need to motor. I suppose we are looking at three more days. It is pleasant at sea but the lure of a hot pool and even a washing machine is a strong one.

Sent at 18.36GMT 13th July 2011