As I sit here on another grey windy afternoon in Kent, it is fast approaching the time where we will leave and move to sunnier climes. Despite a couple of three years of planning and planning, my thoughts and emotions are not what I expected. Nervous anticipation is one I expected, but I have now passed that, dawdled through fear and have arrived firmly in the land of ” I’m not sure I want to go”! I am positive that this is pre-wedding jitters, or the equivalent. However It is with a mounting sense of dread that I tick off the last remaining items on our lists of chores.

Last night we received confirmation that the U.S. embassy had finished with our passports and were returning them. I guess this was our last excuse to not go.

But, come Hell or high water, we are leaving. And that is final!

The last weeks have seen our leaving drinks party , which was lovely. I have no real recollection of the final hours of the evening. However there was a vague memory of some high jinx and a random conversation about shaving feet. I had to make some enquiries two days later when my hangover had abated as to whether i’d done anything stupid. So far nothing has surfaced. 50 or so friends turned up to the pub and we had a very drunken evening.  A fitting last hurrah before the big push.

We have also done work on tidying, stowing and generally getting Ruby Rose ready. The fore cabin is finally habitable, which will please guests and crew. We have managed to fit my surfboard into the cabin which means we can surf breaks all down the Atlantic coast and beyond.  We also had a planning meeting for our Atlantic crew, as we won’t see one of them again until he is dockside in Gran Canaria.

My local GP was very obliging in pronouncing me fit by simply taking my blood pressure and looking at my stomach to see how fat  I was. He did however  write a long prescription for all our emergency drugs. We are almost  a floating pharmacy

So this next eight days is going to be spent saying our goodbyes to friends and family. The hull needs to be cleaned and anti fouled. The anodes changed , and some final checks on all our systems before we leave.

We have however decided that we are not going until there is a reasonable high pressure system over Southern England. This assuages my growing separation anxiety as we could be waiting a while in these parts.