Archive for September 2011

The start is getting closer …


As I write it is Wednesday, 21 September 2011. The start is now just four days away. The boat is getting close to being ready, with just a few last-minute jobs remaining.

I did all my safety checks at the very first opportunity – last Thursday – and passed them all without a problem. I did have to repaint the boat numbers on the deck yesterday, but I found someone else who was doing the same thing and we shared paint and masking tape, so that made things a little quicker.

Chris Tutmark, who did the Mini Transat in 2009 and who I know from my days sailing in Vancouver and Seattle, has come out for the start. He is a professional rigger and has been very helpful the last couple of days working on the boat – splicing and doing whippings and odd jobs. He has really helped me get through the jobs list a lot quicker.

There are still some jobs ahead – final shopping, replacing some bungee around the boat, stowing my gear, food and water, checking the rig – but it looks a lot less intimidating than it did on Sunday.

I also have to do a lot of navigation work – inputting waypoints on the GPS so I don’t hit the rocks while I’m approaching Madeira, for example! – but I should have time to do that over the next couple of days.

Still, I think this may be my last opportunity to update the blog before I go, so I’ll provide the link to the race website. Our trackers have not been installed so I can’t provide a direct link to the tracking page, but if you go to the race website you should be able to find it.

My next update may be from Madeira!


Mini Transat Fun Fact #4


Coastlines of the Mini Transat (or, “And now some information from the CIA”)

That’s right, the CIA. The Central Intelligence Agency. Who else would we turn to for information on a sailing blog?

The 2011 edition of the Mini Transat starts in France, visits Portugal (via the Portuguese island of Madeira) and finishes in Brazil. I thought it would be fun to compare the coastlines of these maritime nations, and what I found surprised me. (more…)

Delivery to La Rochelle


This weekend I delivered the boat to the start in La Rochelle.

I set off from Lorient at 22:45 on Friday, 2 June with (more…)