Astra Log Day 1 - First Day

Jeremy & Sally Paul
Mon 26 Nov 2007 12:36

ARC 2007


Saturday 24.11.07 0800

Three years of preparation are hurtling towards a close as we focus on the start at 1300 tomorrow. This is just a test transmission as we are off to the bar after a full day of jobs. Just a couple of things remain on the todo list, but we’re not missing this evening’s cocktail party and fireworks here in Las Palmas. On board we have skipper Jeremy, myself (Paul), and twins Ash and Nicky. The other Jeremy, who has consented to be called Jem, joins us tomorrow after a final night of luxury in the Hotel.


Monday 26.11.07 0930

The carnival atmosphere of yesterday morning, complete with brass band marching up and down the harbour wall, gave way to slight anticlimax as 240 yachts made for the harbour entrance and then spent two hours bobbing around in the outer harbour. Ash gave us an excellent start, turning onto the starboard tack close to the navy frigate that had arrived to mark the line, just as it fired its starting cannon.


A fairly busy sea for the rest of yesterday has given way to a horizon of  only three other sails by this morning. And a healthy breeze that gave us a maximum speed of 10.6 knots subsided to very little during the night. Now we have hoisted the cruising chute, which has got us back to a steady 8½ knots in a force 4-5, and has also helped stabilize the rolling of the boat. The sea is not overly rough in any case, and Nicky and I gave up the Stugeron after the first dose.  Jeremy has gone for a middle WSW course, avoiding some of the weather risks of a direct “Great Circle” line, bur heading considerably west of the Cape Verde Islands.


Well, the sun is shining, we’ve got up to a knot of current helping us along, the fishing lines are out and we are starting to relax into the rhythm of the sea.