We are on our way

Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Mon 9 Jan 2012 01:01
13:57.2N 62:05.0W  75 miles covered
We left Rodney Bay with the rest of the World ARC fleet at 12:00 today.   The final preparations were not too hectic.  St Lucia immigration was surprisingly quick but checking out of the marina took about an hour because most people wanted to use electricity and water overnight and so there were thirty boats for them to process.  We finally cast off at 11:15.
We said goodbye to Daniel at 11:00.  He is checked into a hotel near the marina for a couple of days because his flight back to the UK is not until the 10th.  Before he left we booked his flight out to Fiji on 16 June and signed him up for all the ARC legs beyond there, so he doesn't have too long to wait before he rejoins us.
The start was fun, with all the yachts sailing a few miles down the coast of St Lucia, around a buoy near the headland at Castries, before heading out west.  The ARC guys kindly arranged for Daniel to see us off from their photo boat, which was zipping around the yachts at the start taking pictures.  We were near the front of the pack up to the buoy, so we got to wave to Daniel a few times as they went past us. 
We lost a bit of ground at the mark as we turned into the wind to drop the main, whereas all the other boats just headed round.  We whacked the motor on for 20 minutes while we put up the parasailor.  No faffing around trying to avoid using the motor this time, we are in cruising mode for World ARC and it is much easier to sort out any spinnaker issues in 12 knots of apparent wind than the 20 knots of actual wind.
Anyway, here we are with 75 miles covered cruising along at about 9 knots.  There is 20 knots of wind, which is not quite enough wind for us to really get moving with the Parasailor, so unless it picks up a bit we are not going to be able to give the faster monohulls a run for their money, but we are on target for a 200 mile day which would not be a bad start.