6 February 2013
It is 0600 and the water is calm. There is a breath of wind, but just a breath. I'm sitting in Soma and I've just made a brew and looking forward to doing some final arranging in my cabin to make sure nothing rattles or falls when I leave La Gomera later today. I'm waiting for the wind out at sea to slowly change direction this evening and then to start to build up to a decent breeze by Thursday lunchtime. I'm leaving later today to take advantage of the very little wind and current (previously blogged about!) to get away from the land and get into the ocean winds and currents about twenty miles south west of here. At this point, I'll have clear air and winds and a change of course to take me on a bearing towards the mid Atlantic. The first twelve hours or so will be slow, but the overall weather forecast is good for the next seven days and I'm looking forward to being on my way and enjoying life at sea again.
It's been an interesting time in La Gomera and the local people have been very friendly, especially Hose, Gabriella and the other staff at the Marina. This little Island is full of natural beauty and has a tropical, lush green forest and there are plenty of paths and places to visit...but the food could be better! I have been very lucky in that I've had a bunch of close friends with me all the time which has made things so much easier. Ole Elmer and Fraser Sinclair are leaving on Thursday to row to Antigua in Ole's new boat and Billy James has been like the brother I never had. Carsten at Atlantic Campaigns has been smoothing the way foe me to leave Spanish waters and in all we have stuck together and generally had a good time. But I am so glad to know later today I'm leaving and will be cooking for myself.
So not for the last time, I wish to thank my sponsors for helping me realise this challenge and to all those who have already made generous donations to the charities. For those who have not been able to sponsor me, but would like to get into the thick of it, Amy is managing a Bowmore Competition which you can join now. For a small punt, you can choose a day and with all your friends, raise as much money for the charities on that day. There are amazing prizes so get in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org and don't hang around!
At home, I've been in constant touch with Emma and the children and they are in good spirits and really happy I'm about to get on with it. Chris and Mike, who have been stars at the business end, have made it possible for me to concentrate on this without any hick ups to worry about. I'm in a very good mental state (at the moment!) and well prepared.
Kick off is going to be sometime late this afternoon.