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Atlantic Rowing Race: Blog 4

Blog 4 – 25 Nov 2009 La Gomera – Preparation Our boat arrived in La Gomera late on Monday; it was great to be reunited with her and to start preparing her for 3,000 miles of ocean.

Boat arrives in La Gomera

The boat 'Explore Adventure Tours' arrive in La Gomera

We arrived here on Friday, so we enjoyed a few days of relaxing and soaking up the sun.  We knew they would be our last days off until we reach Antigua - now our boat is here it’s time to get to work.  We were “scruntineered” yesterday by the race organisers, they checked whether we have all the mandatory kit and we know how to work it. We’ve got a few more things to sort out before they will pass us, but we’re almost there.

Rowing challenge race number

Annie and Mel are issued with their race number!

Today we had to have our boat checked by a surveyor, the local authorities insist this is done before they will let us leave, this involved him whacking her with a massive mallet which I must admit made Annie and I wince (our boat is very much our baby now!) - but that was a lot less than she’s going to have to face on the crossing so it was fantastic to know she passed with flying colours.  We just hope her crew can do her justice! We also started stowing all our food and water ballast (we have to take enough food for 90 days and 150 litres of ballast so that was a pretty huge amount of kit to stow on a 25 ft boat) .  How we spread the weight around the boat is very important, we have to have all the water ballast down the centreline of the boat so that in the event of a capsize (which over 3,000 miles is fairly likely) she self rights.

The Sat comms for the trip

Learning how to use the satalite communications

We have to stow our life raft, which is pretty heavy, on deck to one side, so we’ve had to ensure we counterweight this to avoid having a lean to one side which would affect how efficiently the boat moves through the water - and let’s face it we want to be moving as quickly as possible as this is a race! Mel If you would like to find out the full story behind Annie & Mel’s epic rowing adventure across the Atlantic, and why we are involved with them, you can find out more at www.explore.co.uk/atlanticrowers. You will also find details about how you can get involved and help them achieve thair other goal of raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support.