Pity my poor Mum. First I commit the crime of causing her massive worry, then I force her to become an accessory to the crime by helping me kit out my boat. And make her handle noxious chemicals necessitating plastic gloves. But she’s still grinning, bless her.

In fact, she’s been rather a star. As we’ve been skivvying away on the Solo at Dolphin Quay Boatyard we’ve attracted a lot of attention from passersby, many of whom stop to ask what sort of boat it is and what it’s going to be used for. As I’ve been generally stuck inside the cabins epoxying away, Mum has borne the brunt of the enquiries.

She’s been doing a great job – and maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but maybe I detect a faint note of pride in her voice as she tells them her daughter is going to row across the Atlanti

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