The Marinara Surf Club

Ed Dolman
Mon 30 Nov 2009 18:38
Good Afternoon Readers,
Sadly, the whales have not reappeared.In fact, we have seen nothing at all since our last blog apart from the wide blue Atlantic. We are nearing our official half way mark of 1350 miles, which we hope to reach later on this evening. A cork from a celebratory bottle of high quality Spanish fizz will soon be popping. We changed course slightly yesterday evening and are gradually making our way south, where we expect the stronger winds to be.If today is anything to go by, we have made a good decision as we have been surfing downwind with 25 knots of wind and a 3-4 metre swell behind us using Marinara's new downwind rig of a furled genoa and storm jib, with which we are averaging about 7.5 knots! We experienced our first squall-like cloud this morning at about 3.45. Having been warned what to expect, the cloud did exactly what it said on its tin. The wind increased significantly ahead of the cloud, then it rained (not that much it has to be said) and the wind dropped a bit. At the back end of the cloud the wind died almost completely (8 knots) for almost half an hour and then came back as if a giant fan had been switched on  (22 knots). We are now moving into the area where we can expect proper squall activity so this was a useful introduction and lesson (avoid squalls if at all possible).
Now this is the part you've all been waiting for - the crew profiles! Unfortunately, we are unable to include photographs so imagine if you will four amazingly good -looking men at the peak of physical fitness, trained to machine- like efficiency. Well, they are on another boat. So here we are.
1. Ed "Captain Dorado" Dolman. Age: 39ish (?). Owner of Marinara and soon to be interviewee of Practical Boat Owner magazine. Ed runs an auction house (for which he has worked for 25 years) and is in constant touch with the office via the boat's satellite link and an endless series of emails from his insomniac International Managing Director. He used to be quite a reasonable rugby player, having captained Combined London Old Boys (among other teams). Likes motorbikes, a passion he shares with Dave ( they are always ready to tell a story of their deeds of derring-do in days gone by ( a long time ago)). Ed is the author of the award winning book "101 Ways to Roast a Dorado". He has excellent delegating and team motivation skills and is clearly destined for a senior management role one day.
2. Dave "Scotty" Robins. Age: Over 40. Seems to have known Ed for some time.Dave is new to sailing, having previously qualified as a blacksmith. However, he appears to be getting the hang of things quite quickly and could have a promising future.He is particularly interested in engines and things. He is forever taking things to bits and putting them back together again. Has been heard to say " I don't think she can take any more Captain" as Ed calls for yet more power. Actually, Dave does know a thing or two about boats and sailing and we would not be here were it not for the huge amount of work he put in to preparing Marinara for the ARC.
3. Pete "Ropeman" Preston. Age: Not disclosed. At the moment, Pete has rather short hair (see below). Pete has a curious affinity with rope and knots. He has a knot for every occasion and has secreted a large stash of rope under his bunk.The Captain will be having a word with him later about this. In real life Pete is an IT consultant and says he is spending a lot of time on board planning his next project. Pete is a racing man, good with spinnaker poles and all the attendant bits of string.He also bakes a mean loaf of bread. 
4. Tony "Clippers" King. Age: The same as his wife (see below). Tony is a part-time hair stylist having embarked on this new career in Las Palmas when Pete decided he needed a haircut and bought some clippers. He used to be a lawyer and has recently been appointed a JP (these two facts are entirely unrelated). He thinks he has a wife but can't be sure as it is a long time since he has seen her. Also known to be keen on cooking, he has developed a speciality boat pizza which involves reading all the instructions on the pizza mix and then ignoring them. 
The author hereby denies any liability for any inaccuracies in any of the above descriptions and for any false impressions they may give or not give.
News just in: A flying fish has just been retrieved from the foredeck. It may have been there some time!
PS. Not sure we finished the story of Pete's haircut (see earlier blog entry 19/11/09). The day after the clipper attachment fell into the marina, Pete got some young lad from another boat to dive down into 7.5 metres of murky marina water to look for it (OK he had scuba kit and he did offer). Amazingly, he resurfaced some minutes later holding the plastic attachment, which Pete reattached to the clippers and taped on for good measure allowing "Clippers to finish his inaugural haircut. AND Pete didn't even buy the diver a beer!! ( He claims that he offered instead to lend his clippers to the owner of the boat in question - how stingy is that?!).
More anon.Best wishes to all our readers. 30/11/09