After two days of frenetic activity here we are on the day of the start. We have been loaded enough "planned" food for three weeks and then we have enough dried/tinned food to last for a couple of months if necessary.
We have had our "Yellow Brick" device installed which means that we will be appearing on the ARC position website (www.worldcruising.com) as well as our own blog site.
My finger is getting much better. I will not be able to use it properly for three weeks, because of the bone fracture, but the seam is starting to heal, there are no signs of infection and surprisingly little pain. We will be taking the classic "south until the butter melts then turn right" route, which takes us quite close to the Cape Verde islands, so we can take a checkpoint in a couple of days time and make a final go/no go decision for the Atlantic crossing. Once downwind of Cape Verde there is no turning back.
At the skippers briefing yesterday we were given our instructions for the start. The organisers have decided to start the catamarans separately at 12:30, together with the Open class yachts, followed at 12:45 by the Racing division and then at 13:00 by the monohull cruisers. It does mean that we avoid some of the melee, although I suspect there will still be a lot of monohulls to dodge at the start. The "committee boat" is a Spanish warship, which will show the start flags and then fire a maroon for each start. My plan is to approach the start with just a jib and unfurl the spinnaker (symmetric or asymmetric depending on wind direction) when we are in clear water. It should be exciting.