So – the big day has arrived. To say I was nervous was an understatement!! Arrived in Gosport an hour early (there really isn’t much to do there!!) and spent it wandering round the front bit (well, more like nervously pacing up & down, smoking & biting my nails!!)
Walking into the Clipper office, I started grinning stupidly (I’m sure Emily must have thought I’d lost a few marbles as I got properly tongue tied!!) Filled in the obligatory forms, got handed a coffee and sat down – a room full of strangers all awkwardly watching the video playing at the front. Funny isn’t it, when you have a room full of strangers, you all sit there wondering who’s going to talk first!! Between us all, we figured it out and pretty soon we were all chatting. Made me realise what a diverse bunch of people we were, all with one crazy thing in common.
David had the pleasure of chatting to us for the presentation part of the day – first part “intro’s”. Rather reminiscent of the first day at school –Name, Age, Occupation, why & what leg… Really interesting hearing about other people’s motivations for wanting to sign up and made me really ask myself what I wanted out of it. Thought provoking!!
For me, it’s about proving to myself & others that I can do something like this. Emotionally, mentally & physically – I want people to remember me and smile. But more than anything, I want Buttmunch to be proud of me!!
I won’t go too much into what’s covered (will spoil it if you ever want to do it!!), but it’s not about bikini sunshine sailing!! If you want that, head to the Ionians to sail!! David’s job is to make sure that you appreciate what it entails, that you have the mental stamina and willpower for something as challenging as this. And honestly, he pulls no punches – its brutally honest, and what better person to give us an insight into it as someone’s who’s also participated and been crew?!
Sailing stuff aside, you’ve got 20ish random’ s cooped up on a boat for extended periods of time with no real privacy – suspect that’s going to be the more challenging side of things for a lot of people (not to mention some of boat angles you’re going to be at for a lot of the time)
Break for lunch (and the obligatory chats), and then it was onto the interviews. EEEEK – thankfully David had roped in a few previous crew members (a circumnavigator & a legger). I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Michelle – again I won’t go into too many details, but I when I mentioned how nervous I was (more so than any job interview!!), she looked me straight in the eyes & said – you really want this don’t you. Couldn’t stop grinning as I said, yes!! Until that split second I don’t think I appreciated just how much I wanted to do this, and how suddenly when it was just in reach, I didn’t want to cock it up.
Interview over, and a few of us hung around waiting for the others to finish the interviews so we could head down to the training boats. Safe to say, there was a few of us that were already bonding – gin being the common theme of discussions!! 🙂 Convoy down to the boats – and then it was step aboard. WOW, you know the boats are big, but you don’t realise just how much bigger everything is. Spinnaker pole is at least twice the size of me, the winches about 3 times bigger than the ones I’ve been using and everything down below is ermm shall we say “sparse”. I think I was most perturbed about how we’d cook for that amount of people with such a small oven/hob 🙂
After wandering around the boat, that was it – day done. All headed off our separate ways, all probably equally as deep in thought. Fingers crossed we all got in, and end up on the same training weeks!!