Lady of Avalon
Guy & Deborah Tolson
Thu 18 Nov 2010 13:00
28:07.66N 15:25.65W
Las Palmas
Just a few days to go now to the off, after arriving here with Nick a week ago-
Debs arrived last night ( Wed) in time for  for the fancy dress party as my Sailor girl with Cap’n Guy - hats and jackets and all. Got some pictures taken of us (they may with others get posted on the arc website) and extra free drinks for making the effort
We thought of dressing Nick up as a pirate but in the end decided he would still be able to scare a few people into giving up their valuables and money without the need for a costume  and judging by the way he looked this morning he certainly got a few shots out of some one.
We all had a great evening and woke up “really ” feeling in the mood to go shopping this morning as you can imagine
We have decided to take on board a fourth crew by the name of Federico Anzolini –   Italian, who has done some sailing in the Med and the Chanel  but is looking for that “pond experience”
He seems a steady guy and we got on well with him when we “met” each other over a meal on board and this morning i confirmed his place. He must purchase an air ticket  here- to be able to get back from the Caribbean, before we depart, and when he has that i will register him with the ARC.
This will greatly help our  watch system  and save my already frazzled brain from having to develop an overlapping watch system you need for three. Four will mean we should, in most cases, get 6 hours sleep in any 8 hour period and this worked very well when we last did the crossings 10 years ago
Preparations are just about complete with only the last of the provisioning to do , fresh foods -veg and meats(shrink wrapped and frozen) etc.
We are running 2 fridges and a freezer so we will have to manage our power consumption very well and have had some good tips at the seminars for this
Seminars have been excellent covering just about every thing you need on an ocean passage ,(to name three - Sextant/SSB radio/Satellite phone and  Email at sea )  – although we missed a few of the other ones due to being to busy getting the boat ready. We have of course already done ISAF offshore and Sea Survival courses in the UK.
Arc safety checks went well and we passed all the requirements with no problem
Oyster customer care team came on board with 8 people  to check all the essentials systems on board from engine to rigging and power supply to seacocks, they even changed tri- colour bulbs up the mast and got our AIS working for us
-an incredible free service and considering Avalon is an 1985 boat and we are the second owners
You will be pleased to know that all systems passed Ok and even a “Fair order for the age of the boat” on Hull and Decks – We are heading tonight to the Oyster owners cocktail party and that will be a chance to buy Eddie and his team a drink (well at least go an order one for them at the bar as they will most probably be free –( you mean person Guy)
Next blog will be at sea after the ARC start on the 21st
Guy Debs and Nick