I feel bad. I haven't written a blog in ages (you may or may not have noticed) due to a number of factors; I'm getting married, I've been distracted with my new house and the dog ate my homework...
If you were hoping for a far more juicy list of excuses, I'm afraid I can't even make any up, I'm too honest you see - apart from the bit about the dog and his dietary choices.
The truth is, I've been bamboozled by my approaching wedding and the excitement of it. And then obviously, we on Mariquita are between regattas, Cannes and St Tropez, always a very busy time of year.
We came 4th in the Cannes regatta! That might not sound all that successful but we raced very well and in pretty windy conditions. In fact one day we had over 45 knots of wind howling through the rigging. That's a day when we simply hang on, clip on the harnesses and life jackets and stay calm. It's incredibly exciting to be honest. I love it, the adrenaline rush on board from (most of) us is palpable (the rest - fear).
Now we are in St Tropez and we race tomorrow. I can't quite believe it's the last regatta of the season. And I can't believe it is October!
Two and a half months to the wedding - did I mention I was getting married?
If you have been following my blog you may already be aware that I was marrying the 1st Mate of Mariquita. Well, now I will be marrying the Captain of Mariquita. That's right Ladies and Gentleman, by Christmas I will be a Captain's wife.
It's not that I've decided to callously ditch my 1st Mate fiance in favour of the higher rank of Captain; Jim is a happily married man and I'm still engaged to George the 1st Mate. But George will be made Captain after St Tropez regatta as Jim is moving on to pastures new, Mariquita will have new owners and well, it's all change folks.
It's very exciting and sad in equal measure. Jim has been our fearless leader for 8 years, a truly brilliant Captain. But he is moving on and George is moving on up and I'm obviously incredibly proud of him.
And I have decided that this will be my last racing year. I know! how scary. But I'll be a Mrs, have a beautiful cottage in the Suffolk countryside and well, I'm now 35 years old and I've been living in the confines of boat quarters and on the high seas for long enough. It's time to move onto Tera-firma for good. My own kitchen, my own bathroom, my very own garden. Which I am utterly clueless about, but am very willing to learn. I'll be brave.
This blog may well turn into 'From Surf to Turf', by about the spring of next year. My ambition is to grow my own vegie's, herbs and fruits and I have absolutely no idea how to do any of that. I'll be stripping off the sailing gloves to become green fingered. How exciting. Any tips will be greatly appreciated. Pretty cool that my future plans will mean that I'll be able to keep up my strict 'whats-the-point-in-filing-my-nails' regime. Silver linings and all that.
So I hope you'll understand my absence, we've had a lot on in the last few weeks. I'll be here for a while though. The recipes and Mariquita stories will keep coming until I wave them off from the dock without me.
In the mean time...
St Tropez regatta here we come, with bells on! My last regatta (there could be tears) and Mariquita's last with Captain Jim Thom at the helm. We won it last year, can we do it again?
I'll keep you informed.
Thanks for reading!