Today was spent doing final preparations for the off. Final checks, a crew briefing from Piers and yet again another talk through the MOB and evacuation procedures for the boat. It seemed along time ago when we did that at the start of leg 2 and within a week or so were putting into practice those same procedures for real. I realised how far we'd come since then as sailors and more importantly as a crew – a team that was working really well together and was also now bonded more strongly through our shared experiences. 
We went through the usual bunk lottery although I had a choice of bunk as Kirsten and I would be hot-bunking for the first week.  We would be 19 on this trip with 18 bunks so hot-bunking would be shared out a week at a time. The upside was that you got to choose which bunk you shared and then also had for the remainder of the trip.  I chose middle, top starboard. Plenty of storage in the upper bunks – although sometimes getting into them could be challenging – and also some nice light from the hatch – I would just have to hope that I didn't suffer too much from the water feature that sometimes spouted forth from the same hatch!

Once organised into our own spaces we were then off to a full Clipper Crew briefing where the start and the route was discussed, media prizes were awarded and then Sir Robin went into a speech about safety. Inevitably the MOB footage I had shot was shown and much to my embarrassment I was also awarded the video media prize. It didn't feel right somehow to get a prize for filming someone else's misfortune – even though it did have a good outcome in the end – so I accepted on the condition that the actual prize go to Arthur.

We all spent the final evening frantically trying to send final emails, write last minute postcards and any other final bits of shore-based things required.  A group of us had our 'last supper' together back in The hotel Commodore's Clipper Restaurant – where we'd had our first meal of the stay in Cape Town.  It seemed fitting somehow.