Well, after a good breakfast, we met Anita and walked to the Guildhall – at least the park was open this time!
They had warned us about the possibility of queues and they weren’t joking. After a long while we managed to reach the Friends and Family sign-in table, all well and good. Then there was nowhere to go! The hall wasn’t open yet but more and more people arrived! Hotter and hotter!!Eventually the doors to the circle opened and we were able to find a seat in the front row. Downstairs in the stalls was a sea of red – almost everyone now wore their Clipper 13-14 jacket. It was a lovely sight. We just about managed to see Anita.
There were various speakers but the most inspiring was a short talk given by Sir Robin Knox Johnston. I was almost in tears!!After the Allocation had finished, Friends and Family had some free time (Anita didn’t). We wandered down to Gunwharf Quays for a spot of lunch. Then we joined the queue to see the Clipper 70 boat. It was rather a cold, windy wait but well worth it. I cannot imagine spending weeks in such a small area but I was assured that this is a quite spacious boat! It had one toilet and no showers. I was very impressed with the self-levelling cooker and assured that it was an essential item. However, after a long chat about drinking water etc. I was glad to be back on dry(ish) land. We wandered back to the Guildhall where we hoped for a sit down in the warm but that wasn’t to be. We had to wait outside for the Clipper Photographs. The rain didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm!!! We ended up (again) in a pub where Anita’s crew were all still getting to know each other – an essential process. We managed a chat with her skipper and several of her crew, had a meal and then set out for the long drive home, arriving very tired but exhilarated at midnight.
Dad and Mum