It is with great amazement, humility and excitement that I am able to announce that Constellation and I, are going to answer the call of the Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to a highly generous friend, mentor and all around good person, I have a sponsor / loan of sorts, which is going to power me across the Atlantic, this year, on schedule. The last month has been fraught by disappointment, plan changes, incessant nervous walking, and scheming. But now, all that is a memory, as my head explodes with things that need doing, work I had commited to that requires finishing, and repairs that need to be made, so I can fly like the wind to my start point in the Canary Islands. Really, thank you. Help from new and old friends is abound. Thank you again(!) to Martin at Autosystems, for his exceptional encouragement, and kindness. Marty & Autosystems are helping me out with a Satellite phone for my Atlantic crossing, so I can give updates back home, maybe make a call for Christmas, and keep this site updated with positions and reports. Incredible.
Thank you to Brian at Southampton Trailer Hire for the donation - Quite amazingly, Brian has Constellation's original trailer for hire - If you check out his site, there are even pictures of her former self! Thank you Brian, and if you ever need a hire, do think about returning his favour to me, in the form of hiring one of his trailers.
Thank you to Tudor, for his donation, and unwavering support, and 'official trip advisor' status. Tudor has been my secret weapon, a person who I have been able to ask stupid questions without fearing ridicule, a person who shows great patience with my fickle plans and constant changes. Everytime I have a query, Tudor has time to help me out with great pragmatism.
Thank you to the new Dutch sailing site, SailorsForSailors.com, a site soon to be launching in English at the end of the month, so keep an eye out. SailorsForSailors is a portal full of cruising stories, comprehensive marina reviews, videos and regular updates. Thanks to these guys, I'm able to to actually leave the marina here in La Coruna.
Thank you to Monica for being my 'friend and sister in La Coruna' - You rock!
Thank you also to Spud, Liam, and David for the donation and words of support, you guys are fantastic.
So where and what to do now? As I said, I have things to finish here in Coruna before anything else. I have some bits and pieces of work to finish off, and also I need to 're-commission' Constellation. I arrived here, dumped everything on deck, took the mainsail off the track, packed her up and cleaned away the sheets. She's a mess inside and out, and needs tending to before getting back out to sea. I hope to leave within the next five to six days, weather pending - Things I hope will pickup in seven days, once that enormous low figures out where, and what it's doing. It's getting cold here in northern Spain, so I keenly look forward to warmer climes. The weather in Barbados is a balmy 30degrees. My oh my, who would have thought I would be looking at Caribbean temperatures so soon?! No, not I.
I've not really done any route planning as such, all this news is almost as new to you, as it is to me. But of course, I will stop off in Lisbon (where I can re-read The Book of Disquiet in spectacular context), hopping down to Cadiz, and then of course I will have to watch Humphrey Bogart as I dock in Casablanca, simply because it's there, and what an experience... I guess I'll follow the standard route afterwards, spend some time in Las Palmas before dropping off the edge into the great abyss, and with great luck, hit land some 25-30 or so days later. I have a ways to go before I get to my starting point, so best not to get too far ahead of myself... But, I'm very excited and very nervous.
Thank you everybody, I'm lost for words.