Merlyn has been limbering up in the Solent, enjoying the sunny weather, as well as some good breezes. We are still aiming to slip our lines on Saturday, 13th, heading for Roscoff as our first stop. Next stop will be La Rochelle, followed by northern Spain and Portugal. We're then heading across to Madeira, before we finally make landfall in Gran Canaria.
Our crew - other than the two of us - are Mike, Jonathan's old university friend and sailing guru, and Mike's son Josh, who has just passed his engineering degree with flying colours. We couldn't be in better company! A last-minute battery panic hit us hard in the wallet yesterday, but we are now the very happy owners of six new batteries, which should stand us in good stead for both the Atlantic and World ARC.
We have been very much helped by Chris Warwick and Paul Reed of Universal Yachting, who have been handling the refit of our boat over the last few months, while we have been super-busy at work. Yesterday, Paul was painting the deck, as well as varnishing floorboards, and he showed no signs of stress at all - unlike us.
We now have a week to get the boat organised, to buy all of our provisions, and to fit everything into the very small number of cupboards and drawers. Merlyn is looking great, and we're raring to go!