Yachtswoman Pip Hare is preparing for the Arcipelago 650 start tomorrow - ahead of the Mini Transat Race later this year - read her diary here

Read previous diary entry here.

Thursday 24 March 2011 – 6.30am, Talamone, Italy

I am sitting huddled against my small heater with my first coffee of the day, watching a hazy dawn break over a beautiful Mediterranean scene.

The old walled town of Talamone juts out on a peninsular, small boats bob gently on their moorings as the first rays of watery sun start to dry the water from their decks. It is beautiful and calm, and I AM NOT READY. AAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!

It’s a long old story – the trip to Italy, the introduction to my first scrutineering with the mini classe, meeting the other sailors, the pre race atmosphere. Perhaps I’ll get round to writing about it soon, but not now.

I have a full day and a half of boat preparations to make and only half a day to do them.

Not helping matters is the fact that I have been unwell for a week now, with a cold, a cough, streaming gooey eyes and no hearing in my right ear – Fine form for an offshore race.

Still, the show must go on…………. Time to down my coffee and interrupt all that tranquillity with a totally mad English girl, running round like a headless chicken and not getting anywhere fast.