One of the many issues facing Chris was finding enough suitably experienced crew to man the support boat. We were looking at a minimum crew of three: two to be on duty at any given time, with any others sleeping / resting.
A key issue for this challenge is that Chris obviously needs quite a precise set of weather conditions, which may of course mean that we’re all in for a long wait! But when those perfect conditions do finally arrive, both Chris and the support crew need to be ready to drop everything else and ‘go’ And given the relative unreliability of advance weather forecasts, we might only get 2 to 3 days advance warning. It’s also pretty much inevitable that the sort of people who tend to make competent crew also tend to be the types of people who lead busy lives anyhow.
So the strategy adopted by Chris was to build and maintain a list of contacts for potential crew, including their available dates. This list has grown throughout his months of preparation and training, at the last count there were about 20 names, including several with extensive skippering experience.
Clearly the fact that we now have a fully professional support boat skipper in the form of Dave Rogers (see the recent post in the Support Boat section) has resolved at least one key crew decision. And as the owner of the original support boat, I’m sort of hoping that Dave will be happy to have me along too!
So, if the plan above all works out, we have 2 guaranteed crew (Dave Rogers and myself), and a suitable list of candidates from which to draw the full complement. Communications will continue with all potential crew, although things may go slightly quiet when the weather is as dreadful as it is right now!
Hopefully yet another hurdle overcome …