This is Tim Gilmore of Dolphin Quay Boatyard, where Solo will live while Tim’s men and I get her ready for the ocean. As luck would have it they’ve worked on an ocean rowing boat before – David Pearce’s Petrel – so Solo couldn’t be in better hands.

Another Tim – Tim Davies of Simrad – rang this afternoon to say they’ve got my new marine instruments ready for me, and they’re going to get them all wired up on a demo bench so I can see how it all works before tackling the installation myself. These instruments will tell me my position, speed, course, wind direction – figures that will be of all-consuming importance during the race, with the power to cause elation or depression.

Speaking of depression, earlier today I was feeling rather despondent after a particularly negative comment from someone at the yacht club. On hearing about my timescales and how much still needs to be done, he said, ‘Crikey, I’d be panicking if I were you.’ Not very helpful. ‘Well, it’s just as well you aren’t me, then,’ I said, and absented myself before he could further dent my morale. Comments like that we don’t need.

Progress isn’t linear. I grind away for days and weeks with little evident progress, then in the space of a few hours there’s a sudden surge of activity and everything falls into place. Onwards and upwards!

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