Posted by: Helena Smalman-Smith | November 19, 2011

Departure Checklist

We’ve booked a holiday apartment to stay in for the 2 weeks we’re out in La Gomera, and the booking company sent us a checklist the other day of things to remember to ensure that we have a great holiday… swimsuit, iPod, camera… but we’ve got all those. And, in fact, most of our stuff went in the boat 5 weeks ago when we delivered it for shipping, but over the last few days, we’ve been through a checklist all the same:

Laminated sheet of fish and birds we’re likely to see (courtesy of Sarah Cook) – check

Dig out the iPod to load a final Sherlock Holmes ebook that came in today’s Telegraph – check

Give full marks to our parents for putting a brave face on it all – check

Dig token piece of tinsel out of the loft – check

Pack bag of clothes to be taken out to the finish (we hope) including 2 red hats from Hilary and Peter which should give us a free tour round the Mount Gay Rum factory in Barbados! – check

Race at Kingston Small Boats Head today (that’s 19 November) in shorts and a T-shirt for goodness sake with great support from KGS rowers of all ages (thanks guys!) – check

Some but not all of these items ill have been on the final lists of other teams too, though our hearts go out to the late-entry mixed quad Team Epoch from the US, who have just lost a crew member as well as having some of their equipment stolen from a car in the UK.

Our friend Dan is due to arrive any moment to cook us dinner, before staying for what could loosely pass as “the night” before we all get up at 4.15am to drive to Gatwick for a 7am flight – he’ll then drive our car away and look after this thirsty machine for the duration. Our friend Rachel will then pop in to carry out some chambermaid duties before our house-sitter Jack moves in tomorrow evening – and starts his “education” on how to look after a cat. We’re confident in Tanni’s abilities to teach him what he needs to know – she uses the good old British “how to deal with foreigners who don’t understand” approach of shouting louder and louder till they understand. In her case, the answer is usually food, though occasionally it’s “turn the tap on”.

And for the observant amongst you who have noticed that we haven’t actually reported the safe arrival of Didi in la Gomera…. That’s because she hasn’t actually arrived yet and has been having a drama-packed holiday in Spain, but we’re assured she is fine and will turn up on Monday.

Pictures below are courtesy of KGS wonder-parent Roland Wales, Div 2 Kingston SBH (Note that I am already trying to perfect the ocean rowing technique of taking your blades out of the water at different times). Our boats weigh about 14kg. We’ll let you know how much Didi weighs when she’s weighed out there (well, we think she gets weighed out there).

Next blog will be from the Canaries!

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