There was great excitement and an air of anticipation among us girls this morning. Bidding our farewells was quite emotional: We have shared our ups and downs and become good friends over the past two weeks. We’ve now all passed our health checks and after looking rather dishevelled lately we’re neat and tidy and finally ready for our adventure.
I felt so special with people stopping to wish me luck and with a carnival atmosphere in the marina, horns blasted, friends gathered and even the brass band played along the pontoons. Simon was eager to get going; Lini wanted to hang back out of the rush. There was no marina plan for 225 of us girls leaving around the same time. Gradually however, without any real drama we filed out of our home for the last two weeks and joined a queue to pass the hundreds of spectators lining the harbour. At the breakwater Simon, Lini and I posed for the ARC photo before I sailed them out towards the naval patrol vessel that was used for the committee start boat with fireboats spraying plumes of water into the air either side. Lini was not amused to be in the thick of boats on the starts line, but Simon was loving it. Our countdown echoed on the VHF and the boom of a maroon marked our start.
So, after years of dreaming we were off and now I can really stretch my legs. Lini was feeling quite anxious after the start especially with so many boats so close to me. As we girls slowly drifted apart on slightly different courses we all settled down and an additional send off from the Atlantic Dolphins Duo Display Team lifted our spirits. They danced around my bow then performed a perfect one and a half metre high synchronised jump before bidding us farewell.
My crew were cautious with my wardrobe with high winds forecast and only two on board. Unfortunately the strong winds continued through the night and although safe I provided little sleep.
Today’s offerings from my galley:-
Lunch – Egg salad rolls, almond and raspberry cake.
Dinner – Beef stew, brown rice + green beans.