Wednesday 6th August
Well, it is unusual in a sense. Most of the legs of our trip haven't involved waypoints - simply heading out of the harbour, and keeping on going. This time it's straight down the Irish Sea and turn left at Land's End.
Having left our friends from Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, we now have a concentrated run of appearances along the south coast. And as may be deduced from today's photograph, a certain amount of levity has crept into the crew's demeanour. Alan is in fact modelling a Soltron baseball cap, of which we now have four huge boxes full to give out whenever we can.
These last few days are proving to be quite busy for us. It's not just a case of eating up the miles back to Portsmouth. Not only are we doing our best to help our two nominated charities, we're also promoting our sponsors, without whose help our transatlantic challenge would not have been possible. Apart from Soltron, they include Yamaha, Hogg Robinson, Raymarine, C-Map, Stratos Global and the Jolly Sailor in Southsea.
As I write this, we're within two hours of Falmouth, where we'll be hosted by Mike Garside and a bunch of his former military chums. No doubt after the official business of the day is over, we'll be regaled with a few tales of their "He who dares" derring-do, and who knows, we may be able to come up with one or two of our own.
In fact, some of the essential business is doing maintenance on the boat, which includes making some adjustments to the boat's trim tabs. This will involve one of us going into the water. It'll be done tomorrow morning, when the water's nice and cold. So here's the deal. The bidding starts at £20 for Egbert, £30 for Clive and £50 for Alan. Who do you want to see in the water, and how much are you willing to pay? - to go to our charities, of course. Email your bids by midnight tonight to firstname.lastname@example.org
. The winning bidder will receive a signed photograph of the unfortunate crew member taking his early-morning dip.
© 2003 Clive Tully
Update transmitted by Stratos Iridium satellite phone.
Alfred E. Neuman lives. Alan Priddy models the latest in headgear from Soltron: