Wednesday, 18 February 2009

MARGARET: The boys are back in town

Pete was home on R&R for a couple of weeks so we managed to catch up. Given that he describes himself as someone with an unhealthy obsession with charts and maps I was a bit perturbed when he asked me what the hell all of those lines were (referring to the lines of deviation on the Tasman chart), although knowing Birdy it was probably a trick question to see if I was up to speed on things. Sadly lines of deviation were about all that was on the chart. We are none the wiser as to an exact route to follow and having watched Olly Hicks do loop the loops in his boat as he tries to get away from Tasmania I'm starting to think we should consult a few experts. So Tara has been charged with doing just that and is going to speak to James and Justin of Crossing The Ditch fame and to the CSIRO in Hobart. In the meantime I think we will stick to our vague plan of heading north as quickly as possible in order to hit slightly warmer waters.
So we've lost Pete who has now redeployed to 'ghanners'. But one gone and another returns - Niall arrived back from his 6-week field trip to Guyana and leapt straight into expedition prep mode with me. We are up to our ears in website creation, starting to consider the daunting prospect of how much we have left to organise for Greenland, and trying to find a guide to lead us across the icecap. Not to mention the permit application that should have been submitted two weeks ago! I'd forgotten how exped prep can consume ones entire existence.
Murray has been in touch from Antigua with news of an EPIC kitesurfing mission from Antigua to St Barts. Despite running into some pretty rough conditions he made it in one piece. Although he couldn't find anywhere to stay in St Barts so after a seven and a half hour kite surf he slept soggy and exhausted on the beach before kiting to St Martin the next day where some friendly people took pity on him and offered him a passage back to Antigua. He is booking his flight home and will be returning imminently to get involved with prep for Greenland. We sorely need his help so can't wait to have him home.