6 weeks to go…

Only 6 weeks to go till we are due to fly from Hobart to the island.  A little about the planning process…

When we went to Gabo Island for 3 weeks in June 2008, I used spreadsheets to plan all the supplies we would need. The challenge was to have enough food and gear but not too much since space was limited in the small plane.  I planned all the meals and then used the spreadsheet to tally all the ingredients. This system worked very well, so I am using the same method to plan the food and gear list for the 2 months (9 weeks) on Maatsuyker. Once again space for transportation by the helicopter is limited, but probably not as bad as my original nightmares.

Because we are hiring the helicopter, I thought initially we would only have 1 cu metre to take all our food, bedding, towels, art gear, etc.  The helicopter trip to and from the island is approx $4000 and I can only afford one trip. With 2 passengers, one of the back seats can be folded down to provide 1 cu m of space for gear.  The helicopter can use a net to carry gear underneath, but the safety policy is that the net cannot be used while the helicopter is carrying passengers.  I -did- spend some sleepless nights trying to work out how to keep supplies to a minimum.  However, now that Parks will share the helicopter to re-supply the caretakers, there will be one hop with the net (with a limit of 600kg) from Cockle Creek.  So, the procedure will be – we (2 artists in residence and sight-seeing partners) fly in the helicopter from Hobart to the island.  The helicopter goes back to Cockle Creek and picks up the gear and transfers it to the island in the net. Then the helicopter returns to Hobart (with the boys).  This gives us much more breathing space and takes the pressure off.

I have a spreadsheet for the menu – breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Then a page for each main category with every ingredient mapped out and tallied. I am working on a menu plan for a fortnight which will be multiplied by 4. Then the sum of ingredients is transferred to a Shopping List spreadsheet. We will order cryo-packed meat from the Huonville butcher, and buy the remainder of the food items when we arrive in Huonville.

I also have a spreadsheet for other (non-food) gear – clothes, art equipment, etc.  I am lucky enough to have previous care-taker R’s invaluable spreadsheets to use as a basis for planning.  Hopefully, in the end,  we will have everything we need to be comfortable, but I am sure that once we are in that magnificent pristine environment,  anything forgotten will be insignificant.

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