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Date: 21 Jun 2008 02:10:10
Title: 20 June

The last problems have been solved. The charger charges the batteries, the leak in the water system has been cured. The bilges have been emptied. We've stocked up with water, fresh vegetables, bread and diesel. We've been to the shops to buy the last little items - some more tea towels, a tray to put the dishes in after we have washed them up. Now it is down to the last emails.

Unfortunately, this may be the last email that we send before we reach the Azores as we have a problem with the modem on the satellite phone - it just won't work. The phone itself works fine. We are going to have a couple of last goes at fixing it tomorrow morning as we leave but if we are not successful then this is the last blog for about 12 days.

We are glad to be going: this is what we came for - to sail across the Atlantic. But we will miss the generous people we have met here.

Laurie who we met when we stayed at the Sail Inn: we had a bath at her house yesterday - absolutely blissful! And today, she came by with a generous bag full of parting gifts. Some more of the wonderful rhubarb relish that she had already so generously bestowed on us; books to read; some blueberry juice because she knew that Ian loves it. What a wonderful friend Laurie has been to us. We hope we will see her in Europe when we will treat her as royally as she has treated us.

Keith from the Sail Inn never did get a sail on Elemiah, although we always looked to see when he was taking out his own ketch the Eastern Star. Keith does the most amazing manoeuvres on that boat. He gave us a parting gift of a book on mechanical and electrical systems on boats: we will find it useful over and over again. We hope to see him in Europe too even though this evening he and his boat have disappeared into the fog.

Laurel and Michaela (Hannah's mother and sister) who made us endless supplies of cookies - we certainly won't eat them all before we arrive in the Azores and to Michaela for the lovely scarves and hats and the teapot cosy!

Sandy from North Sails helped us with the gennaker which is beautiful. We are looking forward to flying it across the ocean - our angel leading us home. The cushions that Joan made will last us for years and keep us comfortable.

We wish Steve luck with his gear box - he hopes to get to Iceland and the North of Scotland this year sailing on his own.

The most thanks are due to the whole team at Covey. They are great craftsmen and we have a beautiful boat. We will take pleasure in their craftsmanship each time we take the binoculars out of the rack, use the swim ladder, take a book out of the bookshelves. Thank you John, Colin, Rodney, Morgan, Bill and everyone else in the team.

We hope to be back before too long.

Rosemary and Ian

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