137. ”Be in all respects ready for sea by ……..”

I first wrote those words in a Captain’s Night Order book in the summer of 1988. 18 years later, almost to the day, I wrote the same words for the last time. Now I review those words from something of a different perspective. I asked myself ”Am I ready” way back in blog 90 written the night before sailing from Punta del Este. That was deliberately light-hearted. I updated this with a slightly more serious blog on the morning of sailing – blog 91: Leg 2 (Race 3) starts TODAY! the following day. A similar question was on my mind in blog 98 on 17 Nov 2019, on the day of our sailing from Cape Town. Tonight, on the eve of departure for the Philippines, the answer to the ”am I ready” question must be something of a “qualified yes.”

I’m certainly ready for departing the UK. My day started with a ”final to-do list” of 15 items. When you consider it included rigging outside lights, checking the winter feed on the beehives and moving a Grandfather clock, you will realise it wasn’t ”all Clipper.” I thought one of the decisions on which I had most control in the final days before departure would be when to stop shaving and get the annoyingly-itchy bit out of the way. I made a pact with myself that the razor would be put away when I was 80% certain I was actually going. In the end the decision was nowhere near that ”scientific” – I simply ran out of shaving cream about 2 weeks ago! The ”to-do list” grew to 23 items as today progressed but it is now …… clear.

We had a very good UNICEF team zoom call at lunchtime today spanning time zones from San Francisco (early morning) to the Philippines (mid evening). Ian and Dan have been working very hard on engines, generator and a multitude of yacht systems. The yacht has been deep cleaned and passed a structural survey – more surveys to come. Our main sail is back on and most/all of the running rigging has been checked. Ian and Dan are afloat on Thursday and Friday with the other skippers and AQPs for their training. We also continued our discussions about strategy, tactics, weather, routines etc but you’re going to have to wait for some of those details. Still plenty to do and I guess I will only be ”ready in all respects” after Level 4/refresher training and we all have a Crew Assessment to pass. More on that (again) if future blogs. As I reflected today, I haven’t tied a knot in 2 years, or at least not a knot that the skipper would recognise!!!!

For Diabetes UK and the National Autistic Society see

https://justgiving.com/teams/keithsclipperadventure (hopefully this link has now been re-instated – fingers crossed)

and for UNICEF UK see:


Please take a look. Thank you.

4 thoughts on “137. ”Be in all respects ready for sea by ……..”

  1. Good luck and fair winds Keith

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  2. Dear Keith and Ruth,
    Bon voyage and thinking of you both this morning!
    Keep safe and have fun
    Loads love from Ann and Bruce xx

    Sent from my iPhone


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