27 February 2006

First Daily Log from Gipsy Moth IV

27th February 06

Location Flamenco Marina, Amador, can we leave yet……..Computer says Noooooo!

Weather: Hot and a breeze built to about force 5 form the South West, just like a perfect day at Thorness!!!

Today was officially my first day as Skipper on Gipsy Moth IV. Jon Curtis (1st Mate), myself and the new Avon tender arrived in our hotel a few days ago after what seemed a very long 24hrs of travelling completely exhausted. Today was day three of fixing bits and bobs on the boat and learning where everything was on board, we had asked the computer to help locate a few things but computer said Nooooo!

I stamped my mark on the boat by putting to cushions (beds) on the pontoon to air and watched them then blow into the marina and then float away (they needed a wash anyway).

We were then manoeuvring the Avon ready to deflate it when I managed to drop it on Simon Hay’s broken toe, Simon, who has just finished his stint as mate, is kindly staying on a few days to help with our computer coms problems. The main problem is that the computer says Nooooooo!

I spotted a local selling lunches from a “warrong” (trolly) on the street and Steve, Simon, Jon and I had a fantastic Panamanian lunch, and all for $8!!!!!!!! Previous skippers seem to have collected a variety of “this might be useful some day” items which when removed let Gipsy Moth raised 6 inches (15 cm in new money) out of the water. We had just finished moving all this kit when I suddenly heard the engine overheat alarm beeping, headless chicken mode followed for 20 seconds as we all raced round to stop the engine, the problem was just a Tesco style plastic bag, when the engine stopped it drifted away…. A lucky escape bags are engine killers!!!

In readyness for the new crew Jon went through the lockers to see what food we had left on board, it seems lots someone thought they would like sardines then changed their minds, hundreds of tins!!!!

Just as we were starting think about dinner the chaps turned up with the bimini cover that Steve Rouse had arranged. The cover is a stunning job, perfect fit first time and all arranged by Steve who speaks no Spanish with a chap who speaks no English and yet Steve got exactly what he wanted, and Gipsy Moth needed for its Pacific crossing.

Thanks must go to Steve and Simon for a brilliant hand over of the boat, with everything now up and running. Thanks Guys.

I have just returned from the Airport with the new crew from The Ellen MacArthur Trust, who seem amazingly awake considering the 33 hour journey, it looks like being a great trip, can we go now???? Computer says Noooooo!

Skipper, Sam Connelly

Check out http://www.gipsymoth.org for latest video clips of crew.

Regular updates on http://www.ellenmacarthurtrust.org and www.gipsymoth.org