Preparing for the start

Fri 24 Nov 2006 07:49
First of all, apologies to those of you who have been kind enough to check the log in the last few days. I am afraid that we have been so busy that I have been unable to collect my thoughts until now......
The crew met at Gatwick at 0730, Monday morning in the South Terminal. There was a slight drama as Bretty very nearly missed the plane but, in the end, we were all able to enjoy the delights of charter travel.
The Monday pm arrival put us slightly behind the pace......the ARC programme had already been running for over a week and we had missed the official opening. However, the crew of Free Spirit is pretty damn fast!  The first few days in Las Palmas have been hectic as we have attempted to introduce 5 crew members to shipboard life (and stowage issues), provision for more than 20 days at sea, check rigging, engine, safety equipment, sails, fridge, freezer, water maker and the myriad of other things that need to be done before setting off. As I write this, though, we are in good shape.  We have been out for a first sail together in wonderful conditions, and all of the key systems are up and running. One sad note is that Bretty has had to pull out of the trip and is flying back today.  He collapsed on Wednesday and although he now seems fine, we have all reluctantly agreed that it would be too dangerous for him to risk a repetition at sea.  We are all very disappointed but hopeful that he will be able to get back to full health in the UK. 
More news will follow when time allows....