12 day's to race day - La Gomera
The alarm goes at 7.30 am and we have much to achieve today, so after some quick admin at the apartments, such as buying last minute items like waterproof iPod straps, car charger for the handheld VHF radio etc, we head on down to the marina.
So today our preparation was all about food, food and food! We started with pulling all our meal rations out - the freeze dried rations, enough for 56 days, the 'wet rations' enough for 14 days. Our daily food line up takes the form of a breakfast, a lunch, two dinners, and a desert. We have decided to divide these up by putting four of each meal type together, bagged up with tape around. This means at breakfast for example, we will pull out of one of the breakfast hatch a pack, then we all have a breakfasts there in one go, and then the same at lunch and dinner.
So we made a production line, stuffing bags, taping up with parcel tape, and then laying everything out on the ground in meal type and category. Once everything was counted up, we then started packing the food bags back into the hatches in the boat. This process took the whole day. We did find some light relief and amusement in passing the food parcles as though they were a rugby ball - being the polo team, we had to demonstrate some hand eye co ordination after all!
A late lunch saw Glass opting for sampling scrambled egg freeze dried. We decided to take a stroll and found a great value restaurant on the water front - plenty of time for freeze dried food, the steak and chips was a much more appealing option!
One of the boats parked up next to ours, in this rowing boat line up on the dock side, is the inspirational Row2Recovery team. They are an amazing four man boat (the same category as us, so our competition!) comprised of two amputee soldiers and two able bodied soldiers. There is great chat and fun rivalry between us, and we have grown to become good friends with them after also going through our yacht masters course and some PR events together.
At midday, all the crews had a compulsory meeting with the race officials and a presentation by the two race scrutineers - they were informing us about aspects of the support vessel, when to contact them with our sat phone in case of emergency, and aspects about our arrival into Antigua.
The race scrutineers are perfect for their role - serious, poker faced, ex-military chaps really living and taking on their role with full force and are essential to a safe crossing.
Henry has had an unfortunate accident already. After a dismount from the boat, lacking his usual deftness from a horse, he caught his forearm on a screw and has already injured himself. One of the guys from Row 2 Recovery patched him up in true sportsman like spirit!
Just as we were literally placing our last food parcel into the hatch, we then learned from our neighbours that we will have to pull out every item of food for our final scruteneering on Thursday - we kind of wished we had know about this as we may not have bothered packing everything in otherwise, but good practice all the same!
So as darkness stopped work on the boat again, we decided to leave the snack packs until tomorrow. So another morning at least of food packet preparation awaits. We are thoroughly looking forward to doing some other preparatory work, and even more so hitting the water and getting time in our boat, familiarising and feeling comfortable in Tiny Dancer.