Home Sweet Home
This week was a special opportunity to see the team down at Rossiters and the fantastic work they have been doing on our home during the race. It lies in the middle of their factory, a very dusty and impressive shell as the guys sand down all the base layers with the kind of hard grit and precision that led us to choose them in the first place; we can see with much anticipation the 9 meter long vessel taking shape bit by beautiful bit. The cabins are there and it is not easy to see at first glance how we will fit in there comfortably when the weather gets rough. I guess the truth is it will not be comfortable at all!
But, we did not visit just here to see where we sleep as it is important during this stage to determine the best locations for all our electrical equipment. There are many tough puzzles such as where to put the battery unit so that it can be easily accesible if in need of repair and also out of the way of pesky rogue waves, and whether or not we can include build in speakers that won't steal all the power from more important equipment. It may be we have to take portable speakers and pray they don't suffer electrical failure, which will require us to regimentally clean the cabins all the time so our very scarce personal belongings make the trip with us.
In truth, this visit was important for one more reason; to get some much needed advice and information. There was a terrifying report in the media lately of a rogue tropical storm in the mid-Atlantic that caused more than a few hairs on the back of our neck to stand up! A transatlantic yacht race was hit with what scientists call a 'once-in-a-lifetime' storm; thrashed by 15ft waves and 60 knot winds, several vessels were in a lot of trouble as one sank and another lost its mast which triggered an emergency call to the coastguard.
This news is very striking as we were told our boat is incredibly engineered to stay upright in the most brutal of conditions, except if we are hit with the kind of storm the yachts in the race faced… With previous teams reporting news of huge mechanical failures such as water makers, autopilots and water damage to electrical equipment it is drastically important to not only be prepared for the worst, but also take note of the brutal challenge ahead of us.
Moving on with some positive news, we are on target for having the boat (albeit without a few of the necessary tracking equipment needed for navigation) with us for the Bristol Harbourside Festival. We are genuinely very excited to have the opportunity of rowing down the River Avon in front of all our families and friends (and
maybe lots of fans). Although without getting too far ahead of ourselves and with the building of our boat nicely on track, we can focus on a dozen other things that are in the pipeline; the closest of these being the next leg of the #NutsGoRow tour in Cardiff! Preparations are underway and there are many things to learn (as there always is) from our last visit to the sunny/rainy/windy city of Brighton. Next weeks blog post will tell you the key things we have been doing to ensure our eating, sleeping and engagement of the public will be on point for Cardiff.
So as always if you are in the city be sure to come down, support the team and find out all the gritty details of our challenge ahead!