Happy New Year

Graham Shaw
Thu 1 Jan 2009 17:59
26:25.22N 16:47.15W
1st January 2009

Note the first page of blog was written a few days before we actually set off. Just after that, we started dithering about whether an extra pair of hands would be useful. At that moment someone happened along the pontoon, looking for a ride to the Caribbean... New recruitment, Pauline joins us, a French lady from Brittany. We decided it would be useful to have another person at hand, she already has just sailed down from the Balearics, we are very lucky to have her.

Tried to leave after we received the new trampoline, but weather was not favourable so we delayed until the 31 December 2008. So we had a party instead and left on the morning of the 31st, slight technical hitch with one of the engines delayed us by a further 4 hours. Bit of a panic at one stage thinking a new solenoid/starter motor required, lucky enough it was just loose wiring.

Despite agreeing not to fly the spinnaker at night (for the first few days anyway says Gareth) we hosted the kite just before dusk as the wind had filled in enough to gives us about 5kts of boat speed. Our watch system started at 1800 on the first night with Graham and Gareth paired up with Pauline and Lorraine for the first 24 hours. Lucas did well until about 0430 when it all got a little much for the little fella and needed some TLC from mummy. We celebrated new year in with a little champagne (Lorraine did not have any as she was still feeling delicate from the night before!).

The clear night skies are a wonderful sight at sea. There are so many stars it can be difficult to pick out even the well known constellations but after a little bit of searching the familiar stars like Sirius and Arcturus can easily be identified.

We are currently sailing along at about 7.5kts with a single reef in the main, no spinnaker today as the wind is a little strong and the crew are still finding their sea legs. This is a cruise rather than a race (Gareth is looking forward to his sunset beer already!).

Signing off, the crew of Catacaos.

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