It’s finally happening…

Wow… what a week…

For those of you that have me on Facebook, you‘ll know that I landed in Seattle end of last week…. I signed up for Clipper almost 4 years ago now and thanks to that pesky covid thing, our 19/20 race got postponed… a few false starts, meant that a lot of the original excitement had waned, added onto that the fact that when it did get the go ahead, my original visa had expired… I had managed to get an appointment but then got stuck in St Maarten as I’d caught covid during the Heineken Regatta… sounds wonderful right? Hahaha not when your stuck indoors alone within viewing distance of the beach… due to their regulations, I had to quarantine for a week meaning I would miss my appointment… arghhhh! Thankfully was able to get an appointment in Belfast… where the lovely guys gave me a B1/2 and D crew visa (as I fly in, but out by boat unfortunately an ESTA doesn’t cut it) thankfully for 10 years (heads up if anyone needs someone with a US crew visa, I’m good for a few years now!)

The week started off pretty full on, met up with a few fellow clipper ladies at the airport and shared a cab to our apartments… then got to hang out with Shawna & Jewels for the weekend. I met Shawna at Heineken this year racing on Panacea with Sea to Sky sailing… When we got chatting, we realised we had a mutual friend in Seattle – my original crazy arsed American Sailing Unicorn Lizzy…. An absolutely wonderful crazy funny weekend drinking rather a lot of Prosecco, wine and a disco ball margarita 😂 Best day ever at a drag brunch, and a mad into the early hours boat party on Saga (shout out to Tom & Kersten) and to Shawna & Jewels for driving down from Canada to spend a weekend with a girl only one of them had met a few weeks ago… sailors rock!

The boats were all due in on Sunday… so rather fuzzily rocked up to cheer the guys in from 7.30am… Dan who is the new WTC Logistics skipper, won the race & whilst I was gutted we didn’t get a podium, super chuft for him… spent the entire day on the arm cheering the boats in, shouting myself hoarse and getting an impressive sunburnt aka possum nose…. Will admit to getting a bit emotional when Imagine your Korea came in…

I will admit to being surprised at the team, some I barely recognised… short handed, 36 days at sea, crossing the pacific, meant they were all exhausted and a little broken and a lot of weight had been lost, almost shell shocked… big smiles all round when they had finally docked & had finished with the media faff… was fab to see them all, most of whom I hadn’t seen for 3 years…

And then I guess things started to sink in, this thing was finally going to happen! As I said, it’s been a full of week…. ALOT of maintenance was needed, nothing serious but all fiddly and time consuming… and both Brooke & I have been getting stuck in as much as possible, trying to help out and take some of the load off the guys…. Hopefully we’ve helped more than hindered… Not sure I wanna service nearly 25 lifejackets again though, my nails are screwed… will try an remember to video it next time so you can all see how fiddly and time consuming it is!

Yesterday was refresher training for Brooke, Vince, Mike and myself. Surprisingly seems I remembered alot more of the clipper way of doing things than I thought…. Need to slow down a bit more, remember to focus on winch work (loads on the winches are alot more than I normally have so things have to be done a little differently), marathon not a sprint! But pleased to say we all passed… so we can definitely join the race 😂

Johnny, Fran & Vincent have been doing the victualling… aka buying all the provisions… something I really wanted to get involved in but just way too many others things needing to be done… Helped out with sail repairs with the rep from Hyde sails, learnt lots and today was spent doing the media brief then the boat brief and then a more focused safety brief, before finally starting to work on the jammers… fiddly, time consuming, generating a fair few expletives 😂 we have to take the jammers apart to clean them, so that they grip the ropes, check there isn’t any damage and then reassemble… taking apart is easy… putting back together is super annoying & fiddly.. rather choice words were being uttered by me through the afternoon 😉 but pleased to report that they have all been serviced, put back together an double checked…

I mentioned media briefing… Brooke & I got collared by our skipper Rob (who’s bloody awesome!) saying he’d heard that we were quite media savvy…. Both of us started laughing as we had already figured out we would get asked to be media points… so we get the cameras and the responsibility for ensuring we do AT least 3 boat blogs per week… if you go to clipperroundtherace.com, and go to teams, imagine your Korea you can see the boat blogs we’ll be writing and getting the team to too… hopefully as well as some media…

Brooke and I had plans for a really quiet and early night… however after we finally got off the boat, got my boat email account sorted, had dinner, chucked our stuff into bags, got the final bits of washing on. It’s now 11.25pm, I’m waiting for the drying to finish… writing this… trying to settle the nerves for our docking off tomorrow.

It’s going to take me a few days to get into the sailing groove I suspect, body an sleep management… but I’ll be trying to do a few blogs a week at least… if nothing else as a way to remember everything that’s happened.

So, with that y’all stay safe, don’t do anything I wouldn’t…

About me

Hey,

I guess I should say welcome – if you’re here, well it’s for one of two reasons:

1. You know me & have followed the link

OR

2. You’ve searched, are a little intrigued and have decided to come along and have a read

For those of you who don’t know me, my names Jo (also known as JoJo, Josie, JDubs or Joanne). If you’re interested in personality types, I’m an ENFJ – extreme E (no real surprise there)!!

I’m incredibly sarcastic, I swear too much, I’m a big kid, I wear my heart on my sleeve, I like making people laugh, I’m extremely competitive, I’m always playing music (can usually be found dancing & singing round the house, car and in my chair!!) Oh and most definitely not perfect 😉

I’m a daughter, a big sister, an aunty and a mum (I’m also mumma hoooman to a very needy/affectionate/annoying and sometimes bitey cat!)

I work for a (rather awesome) BPM/CRM Software Company as a Business Architect (check us out at http://www.pega.com) – and no that doesn’t mean I’m an actual “architect” in the traditional sense of the word (nothing quite as tangible as a building).

All it really means is that I act as the bridge between Business & Tech – a bit of a jack of all trades; solution design, analysis (lots of that), project & relationship management, delivery and a bit of training… I get to work with different clients helping them to implement our software – turns out it’s kinda my dream company and job!! 🙂

I guess you could say I’ve had one of those “moments”. I’m just about to turn 39 and hitting the big 4.0 next year  😦  It’s given me the proverbial kick up the arse (amongst other things!!)  Made me look at myself, my life, all of the things I have achieved and all of the things I’ve always wanted to yet always thought were out of my reach or were put on hold for various reasons.

Nothing wrong with being a dreamer (keeps most of us going & sane) but sometimes you gotta make the dream a reality… something, that somehow along the way I’d forgotten.

Maybe this is my mid-life crisis, maybe I’m just reverting or rediscovering the old me. Maybe I just want to do something completely crazy (this definitely beats some of the other crazy fuck it things I’ve done in my life!!) who knows… All I do know is that I want to make this crazy baked idea, my new reality…

Hopefully you’ll enjoy the journey; I know I’m going to 😉

Mwahhhhh x

PS: I’ve been writing this since Sept/Oct – just taken me a while to get it set up properly 😉