01 March 2006

Read Peter Toppings thoughts on the first few days on Gipsy Moth IV

1st March 06

Hi Everyone,

After leaving Belfast we arrived in Heathrow on Friday night at 10.30 and we had decided to stay overnight at the airport until our check in time of 05.30. This was a bit of a mistake as there is absolutely no where to go in Heathrow and all the shops closed leaving us nothing to do. Apart from this our travel through to Panama via Miami was very good even though it took us 34 hours travelling until we meet Sam Connelly our new Skipper and Jon Curtis the Mate and of course Gipsy Moth.

Delighted to be here and with everyone so excited that it was very difficult to get to sleep, however once upon board and finding our new sleeping bunks it did not take long before we dropped off. We have been here now 3 days, which seems like a lifetime, not because we feel so homesick but because we feel as if we have known each other for so long, it must be do with the close living experience and how quick we have bonded.

We as a crew have bought all the food needed for the journey, cleaned out the boat, checked all the lines (Ropes) packed all the kit into lockers, carried out safety drills, practised with the dinghy, carried out maintenance jobs on Gipsy Moth to prepare the boat for the next leg to Galapagos Islands. Mixed in with all these duties we have been filming the crew doing interviews of their tasks. We then have to edit the footage and send it back to the UK with a daily log. We are also answering emails back to friend’s family and other people who are just interested in the voyage, I can safely tell you all that we are having a great time and looking forward to everything ahead. We have had some problems with the communication equipment on board and subsequently we have been delayed from leaving the port until all the problems are sorted out, as it is such an important part of the whole Gipsy Moth experience.

To all the staff at EMT the previous sailing experience under the wonderful skipper’s such as Mark, Sandy, Dave and Martin have stood the girls above the rest. I have no doubt in my mind that they are well prepared for this journey. Until our next update.

Peter Topping (Crew Leader)