Had Dorade left Bermuda on her own bottom we would still be out in the Atlantic living the simple life of eat, sleep, sail. ETA in the med would probably be sometime next week. We sail Dorade pretty hard so instead of putting all of those extra miles on her, she came the easy route on the back of the MV Stadiongracht. Not only did we load two days earlier than anticipated which meant a sudden abort of the onion patch racing but that ship was not about to hang around either en route to or in Palma. Some might call it perfect timing, others a mad dash at the last minute but I finally received unloading information as I was sat in Gatwick airport in London. “How soon can you get here?” Read the e mail “we are offloading the ship now”. Unfortunately travelling from the UK to Palma means you lose an hour too. Like a perfectly choreographed scene out of an action we landed, grabbed bags, got a taxi and a rental car, dropped the rental at the boatyard, rode the taxi to the ship, boarded said ship, unloaded Dorade and as we docked in the boatyard, the ship left port. Phew.
Over the next four days, we cleaned the deck, pulled the rigs, met with contractors, hauled the boat, emptied the interior of all the clutter it takes to race her and now she is on the hard surrounded by scaffolding with tenting ready to go up on Monday. With rigs in she seems small without the rigs she is easy to miss for sure. We are based at STP yard where work begins on Monday to get her looking fabulous again. With all the hard miles and race wins she has out in over the last few years it’s time to give the old girl some love. New paint, attention to some less than perfect areas in the teak deck, varnish work to the rig and in general a good old check over to make sure we are all set for the Med racing and beyond. Of course it is holiday month over here in Europe so we are very grateful that the various companies and contractors on the jib could arrange for workers to be around for our yard period. Holiday month over here usually means lock down making it incredibly hard to get anything done but thankfully a lot of wonderful people have helped make this yard period possible for us.