While both studying for my RYA Day Skipper theory exam, and building my IDP (Individual Development Plan) over Christmas – it hit me – why don’t I bring these 2 journeys together?! Within 60 minutes of being struck by the idea, I’d submitted my application to be Crew for the 2019-20 Clipper round the world race.
Exactly 1 month on since submitting my application, I’ve already passed my initial Clipper assessment, had the opportunity to step onto 1 (of 11) impressive 70′ Clipper yachts being stripped and prepared for this year’s race, and attended a Crew Brief where I also took the opportunity to introduce myself to Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (via the means of a bottle of beer in return for a selfie).
For those who don’t know much about the race fleet – at the moment I am also one of these people – it’s surprising just how basic (and cold!) they are. Alongside a number of other potential crew, we were guided around the deck and the hull, in almost complete silence as we took in everything this amazing vessel had to offer, and searched for everything it seemed to be missing! Apparently it has “everything I need, and nothing I don’t“. I’m not sure I agree!! The heads (there were 2 – both the size of a very small cubicle) seemed to be missing a shower, there aren’t enough bunks for one each (supposedly this works fine with the watch system?!), there’s very little space for personal belongings (where will I put all of my stuff?), and I couldn’t find a USB charger for my phone anywhere!! I’m not sure I’ve come to terms with the reality of living in such a confined space with a group of people I’ve not yet met, but how bad could it really be….?
I’ve signed myself up for Leg 4 (the all Australian coast-to-coast), and Leg 6 (the MIGHTY Pacific). Leg 6 is definitely the most exciting prospect for me – and in the hope that I’ll get to experience mother nature at her most powerful. I’m excited for what I’m told will be a challenge both mentally and physically for the best part of 40 days, while we’re at sea. This clip from one of last year’s Leg 6 crew says it all. I just cant wait to experience these waves. Between now and then, I have the small matter of Level 1-4 Clipper training to complete – at the heart of which is Safety, Safety, Safety.
So, it’s really happening. Ching Ching Clipper – I look forward to our journey together, and anything and everything I will learn on the way.