‘Why not send the story of my record attempt by radiotelephone every day?’ A New Zealand magazine had bought a similar story from me on my 1936 flight.
I offered my story first to The Observer, because they had been so pleasant to deal with in the 1960 race; but a daily story was not really suitable for a Sunday paper.
Towards Christmas 1961 John Anderson of The Guardian asked me to present the annual prizes to a sailing association of which he was vice-commodore. I remembered a review he had written of my book, Alone Across the Atlantic, which had fascinated me by the writer’s uncanny perception of the true values and spiritual issues involved in solo racing across an ocean.
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This seemed to me like fate, and at the prize-giving I offered him my story for The Guardian. The Guardian accepted and I declared that I would start at 11 a.m. on 1 June. This was a bold, rash statement; as a pioneer airman I remembered my dislike for stating a definite time of departure, which was thought to invite disaster. There is a similar feeling now about yachts, especially when a race is involved. In the 1960 solo Atlantic race, if one succeeded in crossing the starting line on time it was an act of good luck on the credit side; whereas this time I should have to turn up at the starting line on time, or else it would be a disastrous failure on the debit side.
The problem was how to transmit a story every day to The Guardian. With the help of friends I got in touch with Marconi, who thought they had a set which might carry my talk half way across the Atlantic. The GPO was very ready to help; the Post Office people were keen to receive Gipsy Moth from farther than any small yacht had ever transmitted. No one, however, dared to hope that I might reach right across the ocean.
By the end of January, I had finished designing a new Miranda. This was much simpler than Miranda 1, and would have double the power, although the mast would be only 8 feet high instead of 14 feet. Yet there would be so little friction that she should work in the faintest zephyr. I made a full scale model in paper, which I pinned on the wall of my office. The top had to spread over the ceiling because her gaff was 10% feet long.
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