It is my third day back at CEM and training is full on in the wonderful (though apparently unseasonable) Mediterranean sunshine.
My latest purchase for the mini campaign, before leaving the UK was a fine green Mercedes Vito van – and already I have started to fit it out with a table and a bed, ready to move in and become a fully fledged mad vagrant mini sailor.
The first test for this amazing machine – named ‘The Shed for the Shed’s’ – was a mere 1000 km drive across France.
Little did I know that driving across France would also be good training for my year of solo sailing ahead, but after 400km I was suffering from a serious case of nodding donkey, so I pulled over, put my head on the steering wheel, had a quick nap for 6 tracks on the CD, then was ready to complete the rest of the journey, fresh as a daisy!
Arriving back in La Grande Motte felt like coming home, the communal kitchen at our accommodation was full of French, English, Italians; mini sailors and Figarists all talking over the top of each other, cooking, eating, gesticulating frantically – making a complete mess, and very impressed with my camionette.
The following morning we were at the gym at 8am for a 2 hrs session of circuit training; a big shock to the system after becoming accustomed to the Christmas and new year way of life.
Most of the training this week will be theory based, and we plan to do some match racing to work on our boat on boat skills, but I have a major mission on to install my new electronics, supplied by Raymarine, whom I am now lucky enough to be an ambassador for.
My whole body is aching, my head is stuffed full and struggling to find the easily forgotten French vocab I learned before Christmas; my boat is a mess of wires and equipment.
The sun is shining – je suis tres contente!