Diary of a Clipper Racer

Around the world in 333 days with Mark Osgood

Supporting my chosen charity - "Dreams Come True"

Final Diary entry, 54, added Monday 6th October 2003.

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46 - The Final Welcome  - July 2003

I can hardly believe it.  No more new crew after this latest injection of enthusiasm on board the good ship London.  So one final round of welcomes to the leg 6 joiners.

Firstly, we bid farewell and say thanks to Chris and Paolo, the boat's very own mincer - it has gone very quiet on board since Paolo's departure.  We are looking forward to seeing you both in Jersey and Liverpool.

And a big welcome to our new joiners , who are:-

Steve O'Neill, (aka Salty or Mario), who has put his own business on hold to help London for the final leg.  Salty, who knows a little bit about sailing is enjoying himself so much it seems that he has attached himself to at least two and possibly all three watches as he is never off deck.  Except to eat that is, as he has joined the challenge to eat as much as possible, all in the interests of making the boat lighter and faster.   Salty's celebrity look-a-like is Des Lynam, or Super Mario.

"Evenin' all" to Carol Andrews, (aka Juliet Bravo) who joins us from Scotland Yard.  We can sleep safe in our bunks now.  Carol brings to the boat a lot of sailing knowledge and huge stock of stories about life in the Met Police.  She also brings campfire songs from the Scouting movement.  Murder stories are the preferred diet of night watch at the moment.  Celebrity look-a-like is Jo Durie - Miss Marple was ruled out early on.

Gisele Nicoletti (aka Gis) joins from the BBC where she is an editor, skills which will be employed when we get back for our boat video.  Gis is holding up the female end of the eat-as-much-as-you-can competition and is providing Salty, Simon and Ossie with some very fierce competition.  Gis is also making a name for the graceful movements she makes in getting in and out of her bunk, the top one opposite the heads.  Gis' celebrity look-a-like is Drew Barrymore.

Finally, we welcome back Cress Whyatt, who was last with us in Hawaii having completed leg 2.  Cress is readjusting to life on board after several months sailing a desk.  The heads and the galley have been prepared for her return.  Cress' celebrity look-a-like is Anthea Turner.

Welcome to all!

We are, of course, looking forward to welcoming all of these newcomers properly, as well as Kate (now known as Petrel) when we cross the equator in the next day or so.  King Neptune awaits with anticipation.

Full house!

With our four new joiners, we have a full boat for the first time in the race.  And there are people everywhere!   All bunks are now in use with Gis and Carol having drawn the short straws with the top bunks either side of the heads.  That is until Gis' bunk collapsed and she ended up in Al's bunk.  Al's comments are not really printable.   There are always spare people on deck, in the saloon, in the galley and there is a constant queue for the heads.

It is no doubt to get us Londoners used to the idea of tube journeys and commuting as the prospect of returning to reality draws nearer.

Sea Change by Ian Dickens

I have been reading Ian Dicken's book, Sea Change, the story of Ian's race on board London Clipper in the 2000 Clipper, seeking inspiration to help this year's London crew to match the third place achieved by London in the 2000 race.  So far, I have established that what is needed is a daily tot of rum for each of the crew together with one for Neptune and a skipper who will go off to the bow to have a chat with Neptune whenever necessary.  The booze order has been added to the shopping list for New York and Rory has been despatched to the bow to arrange a race win.

It is also a very good account of what life on board is like for a crewmember in the race, if you want to know what it is really like.  End of plug for fellow Londoner's book!

Click here for diary 47 - Notes from the good ship London  - July/August 2003

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