We are just sitting in the Hotel, after completing check out and awaiting the final skipper’s briefing with weather and routing information, plus comms and final advice for tomorrow’s start. We have asked our son, Owen, to update our blog from any small text emails we can send from our satellite phone over the next 3 weeks but we are unlikely to be able to send photos.
Activity on the boats has increased hugely over the past day or so, with everyone getting ready for the crossing. I was up at 0630 on Friday and awakened James and Paul, so we could get to the covered market to buy all the fruit and vegetables. It was very quiet, no queues at all and we were taken to meet a man who spoke English and he went through our list, showed us the produce and promised to deliver it later on. Quick, easy and no need to have taken the crew with me really but we had a look at the other stalls, fresh fish and meat which is so fresh and beautifully arranged. It duly arrived, was washed on the pontoon in milton solution, dried and stored in crates and net hammocks. Somehow it all fitted into the boat, so the provisioning is now finished thank goodness!
Later on I went to El Corte Ingles, the department store, which is on 7 levels, with 2 huge shops either side of the road. It is enormous and stocks almost everything. The supermarket is hidden away in the basement, again with a large range of high quality goods from all over the world. I only needed some cheeses and frozen peas but ended up with a couple of heavy bags which I had to lug back to the boat in the heat. At least I know I can’t buy any food again for at least 3 weeks!
The crew continued with the last minute tasks and we had yesterday afternoon free to sit in the sun and get ready for the party at 2030. 3 friends from Haslar marina arrived yesterday to see us off and we are looking forward to catching up with them again.
To introduce our final 2 crew members, in their words. James is 25 and has been sailing on ‘Beyzano’ for 3 years. He lived on her through the coldest winter for ages when he worked in Fareham but now lives in London with his beautiful girlfriend, Gisella. He wants to cross the Atlantic because he likes to be out of the sight of land for a long time and to be at the mercy of the elements. He also likes to cook, is tidy and was also grateful to find we had finally cleared the storage cabin in time for his arrival.
Jamie wants to do the crossing to complete his Oceanmaster qualification and has sailed yachts for 6 years. He enjoys travelling and getting paid for it and is looking for any delivery or teaching jobs in the New Year. He is looking forward to snorkelling in St Lucia and catching a big tuna on the way.
Now all the crew are here we got out the special candles a colleague gave me and had a celebratory burning of the 3 sailors! We will do the same at the halfway point and when we arrive in Rodney Bay.
Kym and Rob spent Wednesday touring the island but now she has spent some time with the ARC crews and joined in with a few social events, she is wishing she was coming with us.
I forgot to post a photo of an astonishing event we saw in Mogan when a few men tried to lower a powerboat into the marina using just a fork lift!. The inevitable happened and one strap slipped off. The boat survived the drop though!