Advance party - checking in.... D minus 7

Sun 16 Nov 2014 20:43
28:07.44N 015:25.30W

Farewells at Gatwick, a relaxed flight and I find myself back on Juno by about 7.30 p.m. It had been dark for two hours and had only just finished raining.

I calculated on the way over that I had flown nearly 6,000 nm in getting Juno the 2,000nm to the Start Line.

I have some fun getting on board - the boat is deliberately set 2.0m away from the dock so as not to hit it in a southerly storm. Not much of a Beamon-esque leap you say but ..... made between the pontoon and the transom (back bit) with the tender firmly in place. It is like trying to the long jump underneath a table - from a standing start. Once on, dry, I have more fun getting the tender off, locked up safe and installing the lazarette/gangplank. Ready for boarders. The boat was in good nick and all electrics functioning - including a nice cold beer in the fridge. 

Pier 19, 1906 all the usual haunts were quiet. The pontoon was super-quiet but full of vessels. I am not sure many people are here yet. More Oysters than a Scottish fish farm. 

It rained overnight.

* * * 
The morning dawned sunny and blue bright with a gentle northerly F3. It seems a depression is due on Wednesday/Thursday. Hmmm. The ARC opening ceremony/parade was a noisy affair finishing with a ten gun salute right by our pontoon. It makes you appreciate pacifism.

I checked in formally with the ARC Authorities and signed reams of liability waivers and am now fully to blame for everything including our broken buckets and much mid-Atlantic dolphin depletion. Our allocated boat number for the ARC is No. 45. It is a nice number. We will wear it with pride.

I said Hello to our "cousins" on Juno (Oyster). Nice people. The Brommies rose from deep, deep in the starboard lazarette - no harm done for three months at sea and pedalled my way to recce El Corte Ingles, our provisioning hub for the trip. It has lots of ersatz caviar, amazing hams, the famous manchego y membrillo and no Engleeesh speakers. In Spanish (sic), I confirm that Si, Si they can deliver to the Barca on Miercoles. It should be a Cordon Blue crossing.

Town was marvellous; the sun was up, it was warm (23C) and the streets were full of promenading Spanish families. Gorgeous. Maravilloso.

Readying the boat for in-coming crew takes from 3.00-8.00 p.m. - including two runs with the clothes washer - Oh I love this boat! The second load included the monogrammed bright white waffle bath robes. It is a brave man that washes one of those without directions. They were still white when I got them out.

Looking forward to company tomorrow....

No breakages today.