Heather Fell is currently competing in Race 14 - from New York to Londonderry - of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race as part of Team Jamaica Get Alright. She will be blogging from on board and keeping us up to date with her progress over the coming weeks...
The nerves have suddenly kicked in. Due to problems with my visa, just getting out to join the Clipper Race has been such a rollercoaster ride that I feel exhausted and drained of all emotion.
I arrived in New York only thirty six hours ago and felt nothing. I was dropped at North Cove Marina to meet the Clipper team and felt so unappreciative when they asked how excited I was; I was numb.
I put it down to jet lag but in hindsight I realise it was nerves. As an athlete I would yawn continuously and always sleep on the bus on the way to the venues. I think it must be a coping strategy.
After an afternoon nap and two undisturbed sleeps the reality of the task ahead is finally dawning on me and about time too as we are one hour away from leaving land and won’t see it again for another two and a half weeks.
I am doing my best to commit to paper how I feel. Right now it is excitement - I just want to get going and find out what is in store. I've heard enough and it varies from "it'll be the best experience of you life" through to "you've no idea what you've let yourself in for". It’s time to find out for myself.
Everyone else seems to be doing jobs right now. I've offered to help and hate being a spare part so thought I'd get out of the way and have a moment to myself. There’s a hubbub of activity on all the surrounding boats and the skippers are all away at the final briefing.
I get the feeling Jamaica - Get AlrJamaica Get Alrightight (the boat I'm on) is laid back. We have had meetings the last two mornings and, afraid of doing anything wrong, I've been sat ready on the dot waiting to go as the crew arrive in dribs and drabs over the course of the next thirty minutes.
I'm certainly not complaining as it’s allowed me a moment to reflect on what has happened the past few weeks. I genuinely can’t believe that I’m about to sail across the Atlantic!