We are off!

Gordon Tourlemain
Sat 30 May 2009 04:26

Sunbird position 24:24.7N 60:54.9W
Noon on 29th May

Hi All
We are off.
We left Jolly Harbour, Antigua after supper on the 27th of May after a day off last minute preparations and a lot of shopping. It was magic leaving at night and heading off into the darkness. We sailed up the west coast of Antigua and headed north. Tiredness soon kicked in and half of us went below to get some rest leaving Steve (the captain), Andy J (the first mate) and Medi (the international adventurer) to take us into anchor off an 11 mile beach in Barbuda just as the sun rose. After a few hours sleep we upped anchor and headed off for good. Medi took the first watch and we watched as Barbuda disappeared over the horizon behind us.
We have now settled into our watch system of 2 hours on watch followed by 2 hours on standby helping the next watch keeper. It seems to work well and we have 6 hours to rest and read before we go on again. We are eating well. Amanda (the stewardess/cook) has stepped out of the watch system so that she put her energy into creating fantastic meals for us and looking after the domestics of life at sea.
We were blessed to see a school of dolphins on the first day of our trip. They approached the boat from downwind and spent half an hour playing around the bow wave at the front of the boat. Sea-farers have always thought that to see dolphins at the beginning of a trip is a good omen. It was amazing to watch them play. They are such free joyful creatures. I think that this freedom and playfulness that the dolphins carry naturally is something that we may all find from time to time on the ocean.
Another highlight has been the night time sailing. Because of the lack of light pollution the stars become vividly bright. When sailing along under the Milky Way at night with the phosphorescence in the wake you really get a sense that you are sailing through the universe.
We have been making good time screaming along at 10 knots with the wind on the beam.  Our plan is to head as far as we can north before the high forms in front of us and we lose the wind.
Hope you are all well
Written by Buddhist Ben