Well this is it – I am sitting in a manic Sailors Bar having breakfast – its good to be off the boat but then again the anxiety is palpable. We have had to ‘go off grid’ for a week as the crew all arrived and we prepared the boat. Lottie and Nisse are here and Simon and John – we are ready (or as we have learned you can never be 100% ready)
It has been a rollercoaster of emotions. The highs of the parties and the fun of meeting new people – the lows are there too – so much money we have spent on equipment and food and drink and it never ends of course. I think the food and drink and stores alone are over £2k now. It seems Bonkers. One of the highs is that Mark has come second in the Rock Painting competition – so that is wonderful – wine and cheese – great! Of course he is not happy at second but we think he is great. One of the lows was a massive one. It has taken me months to apply for and organise all Mays papers – she now has a file with about 20 essential blood test certificates, export and import permits and letters from vets – it is crazy mad. Of course all of these papers relate to her microchip number – so they know that these papers are for this specific dog. So, the final thing we needed was a fit to travel certificate from the vet – I went on Friday as it has to be near to departure time. Guess what – no chip!
I went cold – if we have no chip the papers are all redundant – I cannot get them again as there is no time and some of them had to be done 3 months ago to prove she doesn’t have Rabies for example. The reality hit me
If I turn up in Saint Lucia with May and no chip they will send us home or kill her ( really!) or I will have to not join Magic crew – fly home and meet them in Saint Lucia. I cried in the vets office. It was one of those tipping point moments and by hear just burst – the vet was lovely and said it would be ok – that I was to leave May with her for the morning. That it is impossible for the microchip to leave her body – the vet said she would find it. What a morning…on the boat seemed chaos and there was a lot of tension – the crew were saying we were no where near ready and that we would not be leaving on Sunday… how could it all be going so well and then take a twist to this – I have to admit to feeling low. We are all tired and anxious and it doesn’t help that hundreds of other people in the Marina are feeling exactly the same – behaviour breeds behaviour – the thousands of missing parts and broken things adding pressure and concern. Then the vet called
The chip could not be found.
Right, I thought…I am going home.
Then she said – she would authorise all the papers and send us a letter to say that the previous chip number and the new one were still May – I hope it works –
I will be going on the ARC but if May is not allowed into Saint Lucia then I will be looking for a flight home with her – that is if we are allowed in enough to get a flight – It is not an anxiety I need on the crossing but we are going.
It is impossible to describe what a pressure cooker it is here in Las Palmas – everyone is checking each others preparations – how much veg, how have you stowed things, what equipment have you got – what place are you in the handicap – Magic has been placed as the 6th fastest boat in the fleet by handicap – so that means it will be a big challenge to win a place. But to be honest we just want to get there safe and happy and with no damage to the boat ( ok ok I know there will be damage to the boat but we are all doing everything we know how to ensure there is no damage.
On board Mark is waiting for a diver to arrive to take off the lazy line that is wrapped around the bow thruster from yesterdays parking – didn’t need that really this morning – hope they get it freed and that the bow thruster is not damaged.
I would love to say that this is fun and we are having a ball but the reality is more like we are well and happy but tired and anxious. Looking around me I seem more grim focus on faces than laughter – everyone is checking the weather and taking – it is grey and raining and the wind is picking up
I hope that you will follow us on our challenge
How to find out what we are up to from 22nd November….
We are excited and anxious
We have been planning this for years and now we are going – seems strange
We have had a tracker fitted – as have the whole fleet – it’s a shame you have to pay a few quid to get the APP to follow us, but having followed other friends – who are doing the ARC+ and have already left – I can say that it is fun watching the boats progress. If you want to find out how we are doing on our crossing the APP and the LOG are the best ways. If you go the ARC website it will tell you where to get the APPhttp://www.worldcruising.com/arc/eventfleetviewer.aspx Make sure to select ARC 2015, not ARC+ 2015 We will be blogging on the site as we can do that via a link on to the ARC website you will find it at https://www.worldcruising.com/arc/arc_2015_eventlogs.aspx Look for MAGIC as the first word to find ours but all the logs are fun! We can get email via satellite on our iridium system but only send small files with no attachments or pictures or footers firstname.lastname@example.org Our Tracker also lets us receive and send email – our email address on the tracker is email@example.com
More soon…from the Atlantic
Tina n May