Team members Jan, Matt, Dave, Benny, Nate, and Molly stayed in England and are heading down to the boat everyday to finish off projects before the Fastnet. This week our main goals are re -waterproofing the inspection ports and a couple other spots, prepping the cockpit to be re grip taped, fixing the tack lines and spin sheets. We haul the boat on Tuesday.
The container still hasn’t arrived, I am positive several of you are familiar with international shipping delays. Luckily we all packed a bag with some clothes into the Transatlantic Race container, so I am relieved to report that we are now wearing clean clothes. The race container didn’t arrive until last Thursday 21st and we sailed into Gosport Firday the 15th so for a while we were rocking the sailing gear we crossed the Atlantic in. We washed it, I promise.
The race container arrived in South Hampton, a small English town that launched the Mayflower and the Titanic. Sadly it was completely destroyed by World War 2 bombing so there wasn’t much to see, but it is now one of our favourite places in England since it was where we were reunited with clean clothes.
The team decided to go exploring and ended up at Stonehenge. After falling out of the mini van we rented, we wandered around the pile of rocks that has intrigued people for centuries. It was a sunny English day (only slightly overcast) and Stonehenge was truly inspiring. Our audio guides explained the folklore, astrological significance, and archaeological theories about the stones.
After Stonehenge the six of us piled back into the mini van piloted by Matt Noble, who has a new found sympathy for soccer moms, and drove to Salisbury for lunch. We found an old tavern where we drank Guinness, ate bangers and mash, and got 45 minutes worth of travel advice from a very friendly waitress. We were so full we could barely stand, but we forced ourselves to waddle around the corner and see the Salisbury Cathedral. The cathedral has the tallest steeple in England, which housed the oldest clock in England and the Magna Carta.
The cathedral was massive and breathtaking, full of intricate stained glass windows, engraved stone floor, and beautiful statues. The guys charmed the 60 year old lady who gave us a brief introduction to the church and exclaimed “what a handsome bunch of fellows” when the group walked in. The clock was a massive contraption that was roughly 4 meters wide and 20 feet tall (our measurements are slowly deteriorating the longer we stay over here… I am a little worried about measuring out all of the grip tape panels for the cockpit). It rang every hour. The guys spent several minutes huddled around it and to their credit figured out exactly how it worked. They were so enthralled they didn’t notice the other tourists creeping closer to listen to them discuss the mechanics of it.
As a history major I was astonished and excited to see the Magna Carta. It was perfectly preserved parchment full of the smallest writing I have ever seen, especially noteworthy since our guide explained that it was written with a swan quill.
The boat comes out tomorrow and we are hoping to going to go off exploring again. More stories to come soon.