Eve of the ARC

Mariposa Blog
Robert Newman
Sun 21 Nov 2010 10:27
Here we are:

The ship's company Robert Newman aka Skipper/ Skippy/ , Nick Cater aka "Willy", Richard Frost "Frosty" and Mark Everett "Spiller" are assembled, have attended the briefings and parties, and are ready. Mariposa, has been extensively victualled, the to do list is done (although the double order of fruits is still out on deck and Rob is planning another trip us the mast this morning to add a halyard this morning!), is ready. The only slight cloud at the moment is that the trade winds - guaranteed 15-20 knots of warm westerly airs which we are here to meet - are not ready!

Owing to an unusual shape of the Atlantic 'Jet Stream' the trades are not likely to develop fully until the second half of the rally. Mariposa is lying low in the water owing to the large quantities of beer, wine, rum, coke (mixer for rum), gin, tonic (ditto)..oh yes and water and diesel on board. Therefore we anticipate a slow start - light winds and laden vessel followed by a fast finish as the drinks cabinet is drained and the wind kicks in.

Friends have been made and the Mariposa crew, despite being rather skeletal at times (Rob only), have put in some lively performance at the almost nightly parties and daily happy hours. The parties have included the fancy dress night - special thanks to Spiller for the baywatch meets Moby Dick theme, the Salsa night - where Rob apparently cleared the floor as he taught some Vikings how to (?!) salsa; the properly dangerous Spanish fireworks at the send off cocktails party....the fireworks were let off the roof of the yacht club as we watched from the poolside below which should have worked except several fireworks went down rather than up - some into the pool and other exploding next to a terrace of diners on the veranda below; and, the opening parade followed by dinghy race - a colourful and chaotic water fight in the harbour. During the daytime there has been an array of interesting and useful lecture to attend on weather, routing, first aid, living aboard etc.

Overall the organisation and hospitality have been outstanding...there is a lot to organise and WCC the organisers from Cowes have put on a great show with more promised in St Lucia. The Gran Canaria tourism minister and his team have extended a very warm welcome and the Spanish navy are providing a ship to form part of the start line - apparently the commander offered the to follow the fleet...all the way to St Lucia!!

After thestart (1pm GMT Sunday 21st) we will be at sea and out of usual internet/ wifi and mobile/cellular range but we will be communicating via satellites and more information on how to either follow our progress on the web (automated fleet tracker), email us (boat email address) or even telephone (satellite phone) are in the preceding blog entry.

Thank you for following our progress so far and please keep the messages coming in to mariposa {CHANGE TO AT} mailasail {DOT} com (text only please) - they will be great for morale.

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