Me and My Kit: Nicola Handley, Round-the-world yachtswoman

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The Independent Online
MY KIT is the sailing uniform of my yacht, British Steel II: two pairs each of sailing trousers and shorts, four sweatshirts, four polo shirts, three rugby shirts, and a couple of pairs of deck shoes, all in combinations of light and dark blue and white.

There are nine pairs of socks, underwear, and 'foulies', which is what we call our oilskins, a pair of wellies with leather lining, and lifeboatmen's gloves. The foulies are the latest thing in wet-weather gear and are designed to be worn over a middle layer of salopettes and jacket.

Next to the skin are silk long johns and polo shirts - silk stays warm when it is wet. Over the top of everything is a life-jacket which inflates automatically when it goes into the water, a radio beacon to locate me if I fall overboard, and a pair of goggles.

Everything except the wet gear has to be kept in two boxes the size of beer crates, each item in a sealable plastic bag in the vain hope of avoiding dampness. Keeping it neat is important in conserving space.

Washing clothes is a problem. I'm resigned to getting a bit smelly, but

everyone else will be the same so I hope we won't notice.

(Photograph omitted)

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