6 days to go!

Island Wanderer
Peter and Avril Brookes
Mon 14 Nov 2011 19:13
The last couple of days have seen the crew of Island Wanderer busy preparing for the start on Sunday. As well as socialising and getting to know other boat crews, there have been plenty of jobs to do. There is an atmosphere of expectation in the marina as most of the boats have arrived and many are dressed overall,  making a very colourful picture. All the boats are similarly engaged as us, making repairs, provisioning and generally getting yachts in a sea worthy condition.
IMGP1067  IMGP1068
Yesterday there was fun and games in the form of a dinghy race, which seemed to entail getting all involved as wet as possible. This was followed by a barbeque in the evening.
Pete and Avril spent several hours trying to remove the gooseneck bolt to insert a washer. Two hours later it came out after applications of heat and force provided from the longest lever we could find,which ended up being the emergency tiller. Unfortunately when we had removed it, we found the washer didn’t fit, so it was rapidly reassembled until one could bought the next day. Avril had an equally frustrating time trying to put an eyesplice in a rope. After a significant amount of time she gave up, and decided to take it into the rig shop.
Mandy and Doug taped up loose split pins on the guard rails, lashed the anchor and completed other essential tasks.
Today, Mandy and Doug started the mammoth job of buying and stowing the food for the journey. After several hours in the supermarket, they had broken the back of the non perishable goods, and the supermarket delivered the purchases to the boat a few hours later. Finding homes for everything has been a challenging process, and we suspect we may come across the tinned olives and custard in years to come if we ever have to go into the depths of the bilges for a repair!!
Pete and Avril disappeared off into the old part of the town to explore. Avril bought new pyjamas and only hesitated briefly when the shop assistant told her there was a special offer on; 70% off if you wore the pyjamas out of the shop!! So,dressed in summer pyjamas, we continued our exploration.
Pyjamas, the latest word in fashion!
We soon came across a shop selling the perfectly magical combination of loose leaf tea and a wide variety of chocolate, which seems an inspired retail combination to Avril. The trip was finished off by a visit to the fishing shop. The shop owner clapped his hands with glee as yet another ARC boat, green at the gills, came in for yet more fishing gear. So far we have lost more lures than we have caught fish. We suspect owning a fishing shop is very lucrative.
The rig shop told us that the rope was unspliceable, and the washer shop didn’t stock our size of washer, so we had to file down an oversized one to complete the gooseneck job.
We are going out to a crew dinner tonight with other boat crews  to have a bit of fun before contemplating tomorrow’s “to do” list!!