Getting ready to Go

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Spring 2003

Since May 2001 I'd been working as Sales & Marketing Director of the London Telecomms company 51.   I handed in my 3 months notice in February 2003 as I had been planning for some time and was immediately (as expected and hoped for) escorted of the premises.  The next three months were to be crucial in preparing for our departure.  Lindy who worked in a somewhat less cut-throat environment was having to work until the end of April.  However the remaining refit work was proceeding well and to schedule and we had a couple of weeks contingency built in, so all looked to be fine - you'd have thought that by now we'd have learned wouldn't you?

Several things then happened almost simultaneously that immediately took a relaxed scenario and wound up the pressure:

bulletWe put the house in the hands of a letting agent in February.  The first people to see the house were keen to take it and wanted to move in immediately.  Obviously that wasn't possible, but we did, probably foolishly, agree that they could move in on the 1st of April.  This would mean that Lindy would only have three days after finishing work before we left the house, but I had my end of things covered with some slack, so between us we could be ready.
bulletJames Tate preparing to remove the mast to touch up some paint work and free the frozen sheave, discovered that it had acquired a significant bend at the upper spreaders where the running backstay attached.  This had gone unnoticed during the previous season - we'd done very little sailing - but seemed likely to have occurred during an uncontrolled gibe that occurred when we were trying to tame a ripped Genoa back in June.  It took Southern Rigging (the local Selden agents) 3 visits to measure the mast and nearly 4 weeks to provide a quote.  It took Pantaenius a similar time to appoint a surveyor.  A long dispute then ensued and with an 8-10 week lead time on the mast I had no choice but to place an order and continue my  "discussions" with the insurers separately.
bulletA week before it was due to be delivered the new folding prop I had seen and ordered at the London boat show had apparently developed a design problem in its Left Hand version - You don't even have to ask which version we needed.  The problem was unlikely to be resolved in any timescale that worked for us.  Our only option was to re-order a (more expensive) feathering prop. It had a 4 week lead time!
bulletNeil Forshaw one of the guys who had been working on the refit during the winter and  who had, been scheduled some months before to install our new electric heads and holding tank suddenly announced that he had had hit a serious overrun on another  job he was involved in and would not be able to start on Samarang as scheduled.  There was no option, but to do the job myself.  Probably requiring an additional 2 weeks of my time - the original contingency before all the other things had happened.  

May 2003

Horrible e-mail problems + web host going into administration + moving house + BT disconnecting my lines a day early + etc + etc. Also, Lindy's father was taken into hospital a week or so ago (The day after they moved house!) and died on 30th April. He had been ill for some time so we had been expecting it, but it is still quite a difficult period for the family when it finally happens.

So we moved out of the house on Friday 1st May as planned and formally became "No Fixed Abode" with all our worldly goods in the back of the Landcruiser.  We then drove up to Leeds to stay with Lindy's mum until the funeral. We'll then head back to Eastbourne and onto Samarang and continue with our preparations for departure. Stage one of which will (I guess) involve chucking away large amounts of the stuff in the back of the car, as I have absolutely no idea where its going to fit. I'd already decanted one Landcruiser full of possessions onto the boat last week and have yet to find a home for all of that.

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Barry's Squalor


We were to spend the next weeks, working from dawn till dusk and trying to get back on schedule.  Both with yacht preparations and with disentangling our UK lives.  It really wasn't supposed to be like this.  We'd been planning our departure meticulously for 2 years.  Most of all, we were prepared to accept having to go through this sort of hassle in some obscure Mediteranean port, but not in Eastbourne in the rain.  This turns out to be almost a prophetic thought and we will have the opportunity to experience this kind of grief both in Eastbourne in the rain and in Lagos in a forest fire - read on!

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Lindy's Office


The good news is that we are absolutely assured that our new mast will arrive on Wednesday - 7th May. The rigger needs about 2 weeks to dress, step and tune it - baring no unforeseens. This would take us to the 21st. We then plan to leave Eastbourne on 26/7th, straight after the Bank Holiday and head for Plymouth to join the Portugal Rally. Ideally need to arrive in Plymouth by COP 29th to allow for safety inspections etc. The rally then leaves for Portugal on 1st June - with or without us.

So its all a bit tight now. Oh and to give you a feel for the current level of confidence the 7th May will make the mast 5 weeks late on its original "firm" 6 week lead time, and its probably the third or fourth "solid date" that we've been given. But seriously, I do feel that we will just make it - but only just.

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Something Still Missing? is now up and running in its initial form and as I get to grips with FrontPage it will be tarted up. We will be updating the diary on the website on a (fairly) regular basis and accessing (via webmail) the various "" family of addresses for the duration of the trip and beyond, so you can send us e-mails there. So the addresses or barry& will be fine. Though having been disconnected from the global telecoms network for only 1 day so far, I already realise that there will probably be quite long gaps between accessing them.

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Last updated 18th March 2018