9.5 hours to go.

Nine and a half hours to go to the start. It has been a fairly hectic week. Still got to pack my barrel, but that won't take long. Stocked up with some Lidl Couscous (tested previously), plus have gambled on some (untested) Lidl Jelly Babies. Haven't got around to phoning people I was going to phone - do they have mobile coverage in Southend?

A mix of emotions today. Either impending departure is finally dawning or me, or the pain of the 5th set Murray collapse hit me harder than I thought.

My brother and family are in Clacton for the start weekend and we got out on the water for a blast and a few photos. Rather a nice day it was too. My very cute niece also did a final barrel test: from her point of view a success, I can't take her.

Tomorrow at 10am the forecast at the start is for 4 knots of wind, so please be forewarned about the absolute lack of drama/movement in the pictures, when these come. If you get to see the video footage from BBC Look East (goes out Sunday night), this is also in 4 knots of breeze, although from 2 days previous. Hope I got my tides right or I could end up under Clacton pier.

Better get some shut eye, a long 3 months (?) ahead of me. Think I'll pack that barrel tomorrow morning.