An air of palpable tension is developing across the
marina here. People are still partying quite hard, but the noise of hammers,
drills and skippers' voices is a bit more intense than it was last week. The
social programme has simmered down a bit to give people the time to get on with
jobs, and the talk has turned to provisioning, dealing with foul weather and
routes across the Atlantic.
Graham has settled well into the pace of life on
Summer Song. Jetlag notwithstanding, he's a really positive character and has
been busy making friends with our various neighbours in the marina. On his first
evening here, he managed to secure an invitation aboard one of the 70 foot
megayachts doing the crossing, and I feared we'd lost him to a bigger boat.
Happily he's hung on with Summer Song...
We've been getting into some good jobs on board,
including running a fine line up the inside of the mast and back down again in a
loop to haul up any halyard that parts during the voyage. We also accomplished a
mammoth shopping session yesterday. Never before have I had to ask a shop
assistant for 2kg of dried ham and 3kg of cheese in 200g slices, or purchased 12
saucissons at the same time.
Dorset Mission Control is flying out to Las Palmas
today to oversee the final pieces of work on board and wave us off on Sunday.
They're also conducting a vital revittling exercise to restock us in the matter
of bacon, pies and packet risotto.
Hopes are high that Will will emerge at the airport
tomorrow, blinking from a cold Parisian winter, ready for as much as a
month at sea in temperatures up to 30 degrees. A critical job still to complete
involves installing a 'bimini' frame over the cockpit that we can stretch canvas
across while under way to shade us from the relentless sun of the tropics. If we
didn't, there is a real possibilty that we'd all emerge at the other end
resembling dried goji berries.