I’m currently eating breakfast in a 1970’s style hotel in Den Helder. Last nights dinner was chips with curry sauce and fish, some very strange beer and a terrible white wine. Breakfast this morning is fairly similar but surprisingly the coffee is good. Outside it is wet and windy, just to prepare us for getting back to the UK. I’m off to my last ever crew briefing then to the boat to do a bit of boat stuff and sort out my bunk (currently it’s covered in kit and a new pair of wooden cloggs – a present from the DLL sponsor) before race start tomorrow. Lots of people have asked me how I’m feeling as the race draws to an end and I start to make preparations for returning to the normal world; the answer is I’m not sure! There will be things I definitely don’t miss (less to do with sailing and more to do with the Clipper organisation and skippers) and things I am beginning to get nostalgic about already, only time will tell what the impact is really.
We finished the last race in 9th so there is a good chance that this race can only provide a better result. Overall we will finish 10th for the whole race and yet again our final race is looking like it’s head to wind. If there is one thing I could wish for to have different it would have been to have Flav as our skipper from the start and I think we would have stood a better chance. However, as I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, it’s the sailing round the world that counts and not the race results and although that may sound glib, I do genuinely mean it.
Finally, in contrast to my dinner last night, I had one of the best and most enjoyable meals ever in ‘Bridges’ restaurant in Amsterdam. In a complete contrast to most of my walk to dinner (the over 18 route!) the meal and service were outstanding – Fins and Vins – Yummy.