The end is nigh part 1

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it ~ Greg Anderson

Breakfast starts a little bit later than usual, some of us have been lucky enough to have an extra hour sleep before our big day begins. A yummy breakfast of bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon. Well done Greg!

It is grey and slightly damp, light rain gently falling and cloudy skies surround us. 12 not so brand new 70foot stripped down racing yachts quietly float around Southend pier awaiting the start of what turns out to be a remarkable day.

Yankee 1 flaked and stowed; staysail beautifully flaked and still on deck (just in case of engine failure – although let’s hope not in the gentle parade of sail up the Thames in front of thousands).

milling around

milling around

We sit on deck pondering our amazing achievement, engine in tick over, gently milling around with our eleven competitors before we get into formation to head up to St Katharine Docks. Quiet stories unfold, our best moments told and retold. And then the skipper appears on deck with instructions to get on with all the jobs we have to do before arriving in St Katharine’s.

A grey mizzly start to the morning ...and the skipper brewing up some more "jobs" for us - I think not ma'am.

A grey mizzly start to the morning …and the skipper brewing up some more “jobs” for us – I think not ma’am.

Our thoughtful, tranquil moment lost in an instant. Our bosons look at each other with incredulity when told to service the winches before arrival. We all quietly agree to silently disagree with our skipper. The service kit makes its way on deck and soon thereafter makes its way back to the boson’s locker. Enough is enough.

The galley is most certainly tidied and floorboards scrubbed, crew accommodation quickly spruced with anti-bacterial spray, and the bin bags tied ready for dumping later. Orders are barked but strangely enough we are for the most part deaf to the demands. Displacement activity at its best we all agree (silently once more).

coming home

coming home

And so to parade start. The last time some of us came up the Thames was when we delivered the boat to London from Gosport, pre-race start, and here we are, having crossed oceans we deliver her back. This time as extremely competent sailors, as a tightly knit group of individuals who would by now do anything for one another.

Race control to clipper fleet… Race control to clipper fleet…

And so the fun begins.

Race control to clipper fleet...let the fun begin

Race control to clipper fleet…let the fun begin

Driving home (with my faithful swiss cow)

Driving home (with my faithful Swiss cow)

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2 thoughts on “The end is nigh part 1

  1. Francoise Andre

    Congratulations , so very proud to been able to follow you and the swiss team. you really are outstanding. Thinking of you as you settlte back into “real” life….

    Francoise

    Reply

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