After 7 weeks in the Azores the engine was finally back together and the boat ready to head back to the UK. Unfortunately, I had run out of time and had to return to the UK so can’t do the last 1,200 miles of my loop. Oh well… The problem with the engine was the injection pump, which had to be sent to Lisbon and parts flown in from Japan. It failed the bench test twice; it was in a pretty bad way. Currently planning for a new engine before the race, thank goodness. I have a vision of motoring onto the berth after the finish line, and to be confident of having a chance of being able to do that I am going for a new one, and also a reconditioned fuel tank which is still a major problem. I am having to draw fuel from jerry cans to not get filthy fuel back into it.
I’m sad I can’t finish my Atlantic loop like I had planned, but I have still managed to get a good 8,000 miles on the boat solo so I am quite happy that I know her well. She will be going into the yard with a solid refit list of all the things needed to get her Southern Ocean-ready. The majority of the refit is strengthening parts of the boat. For instance, the chain plates will be lengthened and strengthened, collision bulkhead up forward with a watertight door, the anchor well will have a collision bulkhead also but sealed and filled with foam. The fo'c'sle will be stripped to have more space and also to reduce weight up forward. A new toe rail will be fitted; a must as it currently leaks rather a lot, also all the deck fittings will be removed and resealed, just to name a few.
Rustler Yachts will be doing the major refit work over the summer and the little jobs I will finish when she comes out of the yard. She will come out of the yard with a new name which is super exciting. We are going to have a naming competition for the it, not quite 'Boaty McBoatface’ as I can veto it, thank goodness 😃. Also new colours to reflect my awesome sponsor. It was fantastic to announce the partnership with DHL last week, I am incredibly proud to have such a fantastic company onboard for the Golden Globe project and thrilled that I have so much support and backing from them. It's incredible to have someone show such belief in you. Not only will their support help get me to the start line but the finish line as well. It will be the support I have that will get me through the lowest moments in the race, the support of not just DHL but my family and friends as well.
It is absolutely wonderful to be back in the UK, but I am only half here… Getting my boat back is the last stretch before the yard period begins.