The Start Line beckons...
50 47.5N 001 07.2W
Today’s the day we depart Gosport on our adventures. We are joining the first part of the RNSA’s Yarmouth Trophy weekend, so we’ll be crossing the start line off Gilkicker Point at around 1200 and meeting up with a fine crowd of Navy sailors (past and present) in Yarmouth later this afternoon.
Leaving from Gosport and Portsmouth harbour is a poignant thing to do. I’ve spent so much of my career taking ships out of this magnificent harbour, and with DARING coming home yesterday from 9 months in the Gulf, there’s a strong sense of perspective as we set out on our little trip. Gosport is getting ready for some significant Falklands Commemorations, Robin Knox Johnston’s Suhaili is moored a few yards away, Alex Thomson’s Hugo Boss is here, Alex Rose’s Lively lady is just up the harbour..
Now for the Oscars speech:
The boat is in good shape – three years of preparation and some really good support from Harry at The Rig Shop, Paul and Kevin at Ultimate Sails, Simon at Golden Arrow, Steve at Marine Tech, Jim at Sailfish and Dave at Vasi Marine. And then there’s the fantastic team at Hornet who have looked after us so well for over thirty years – Stewart, Robert, Sean, Arty and Melissa – and not forgetting Lenny Brownsword and the boys on the gate and the whole JSASTC team.
And we are in fine fettle. We’ve really enjoyed the wonderful send off that we’ve had from everyone – work, university, Petersfield, Alverstoke… much of it orchestrated as a well-kept surprise by Anna and Lizzie, two daughters who are truly exceptional in every way! We are really lucky to have such a strong support base of friends and family.
Next stop… the other end of the Solent!
Where’s it all going to go?
Essential supplies – booze’n’boots. What else does a chap need?