Sun 11 Mar 2012 17:29
Position : 51º30' 52·4 N , 000º11' 36·7 W.  
Sunday 11.03.2012 , 17:25 UTC, 17:25 local time

And then there is a beginning.....and it is FEAR.

This is the first ever blog SY Champagne is releasing, and the first fear is that I can't handle the technology provided by Mailasail. I have been on this now for 3 days, trying to establish links, learning new skills, setting up the e-mail account, sheer sweat and stress. The only good news is that I am not alone ........... Friday the 9th of March we had our first ever crew meeting: Jim, Fati, Pieter, Ian and myself. All went well - thanks to the italian restaurant owned by a GREEK !  We have a plan. The beginning is set, the dice is rolled. Not all of us will be able to take part in the whole journey, that starts in Sibenik/Croatia this August, then via Malta, Gibraltar, Madeira, Gran Canaria, St.Lucia, then sailing first south and then north between the Caribbean Islands, and leaving again in April next year for the long journey back via Azores, Gibraltar, Palermo and Sibenik. All in all more than 11000 NM. But we'll see....we are only at the beginning.

Back to the fear factor : Fati, Pieter and Ian attended their Safety and Sea Survival Course in Hamble. And the community pool scared the hell out of them all. Now just imagine all this with waves 3-5m high, B/F 8, and a little bit of rain on top.....well guys, you better not fall overboard and let the boat not have a leak ! As simple as that. But the fear factor has been introduced. Good, so we all will be a lot more careful ! It is just a pitty that nobody took a picture of all these wet bodies in the pool. Would have been fun to show it one day to our grandchildren. I am sure they would all have had a good laugh.

The other fear or better worry is that we will get everything ready in time. It is a little bit difficult to do all this when you are not constantly on board yourself, so all goes via e-mail and trust. But this is what it is. No turning back now. End of March Jim, Pieter and I will travel to Croatia to set everything in motion and start with the check-list. Fati in the meantime will finish her menu planning , and Ian wants to "chill-out". Good lad !