A  Chinese pencil box, a hand painted fan and a Waterford crystal champagne glass.  

I wrapped each one carefully and put them in a tote bag.  I looked around the living room and then stopped.  No.  Just a few pieces at a time.  I left the tote at the front door to take down to the boat later.

Under our bunk in the aft cabin was a large compartment which housed the emergency steering gear. The marine plywood was painted with white enamel so it was clean, dry and a perfect place to store hide my treasures.  Plastic was for sailing, durable and safe, but a girl deserves a few fine things when she’s in port.  Next, I took down twelve Irish linen napkins, a dainty porcelain olive bowl and a pewter wine bucket.  

It did not take Robb long to notice that Summer Love was starting to sit rather low in the water.  He paced the dock, scratching his chin then checked the dock lines and the bilges.

I said nothing.  (Which is not often).

A week before we sailed from Cape Town we hauled Summer Love out of the water to check the hull and sea-cocks.  Everything was good, except the waterline, so Robb decided to paint the anti-fouling a little higher to stop green goo from growing on the hull. After all, this was a race and we didn’t want barnacles and slime slowing us down.

The water tanks were full, the diesel tank was almost full.  We had enough salami, cheese and olives to get us across the Atlantic, and of course, beers — there were plenty.

So, Robb put it down to that.  Summer Love was laden with provisions.

Four weeks later, we found Brazil and were placed 3rd in the cruising class!  Much celebration was necessary.  It was time to open the Moet et Chandon.  I dug out the wine bucket and the crystal glass, two of the napkins and the olive bowl, set them on the cockpit table and filled the bucket with ice.  I pulled the champagne out of the fridge and plunged it into the bucket.  

It did not take Robb long to notice.  He shook his head in disbelief.  

"That’s it.  It’s all that extra weight which slowed us down — we could’ve come first!   Now, what else have you got stashed away?"

I just smiled and pointed to my empty glass.  

Time would tell.


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