Crossing the starting line!

Dave & Becky Werrett
Mon 24 Nov 2008 09:20
Position - 26:35.735N  16:13.933W
November 24th
Well we're off - we set off at 1pm yesterday, Nov 23rd, there were brass bands playing and hundreds of people turned up to see us off, shouting and waving flags - so many of them had union jacks and shouted for us - I must admit despite my nerves and utter panic it was all very exciting and emotional. It is now the morning of day 2, the first night, which I always find the worst, wasn't too bad and I have just boosted crew morale by serving bacon butties. So far we have done 115 miles with an average speed of 6.2 knts. I have a feeling we are probably near the back of the fleet as we have seen many boats go past us and I haven't been able to raise any of our friends on the VHF. The wind is averaging around 9 knts  and it is right behind us so we have at last managed a long relatively comfortable sail with no motoring...! The sea is fairly rolly but we've definitley had worse and my knuckles are nowhere near as white as they have been!
Poor Molly is bearing up - she has been a nervous wreck over the last few days - there have been a lots of fireworks, drums and horns blasting, as well as the natural instinct that dogs seems to have whereby they know when something different is going on, so we have our fingers crossed that she is going to be OK and will settle into the swing of things in the way that we all will have to. At this stage my mind can not fathom the fact that I will be at sea for the best part of 3 weeks, the only way I can deal with it is to take one day at a time. After being at sea for 5 hours we looked at the trip and we had done 27 miles, our current course will take us over 2700 miles - so Dave decided we should celebrate our first 1/100th!
The last 2 weeks have been manic - a real mix of emotions and something we will all never forget,  over the next few weeks I will try and write up the events that took place - but I think for me the highlight was my 40th birthday - I had such a lovely day - a very long lunch with my Mum and Dad who had flown out to see us off and then in the evening it was the big caribbean theme party - it was an amazing evening, absolutley mad! We all got dressed up in fancy dress and the atmosphere was superb - lots of very anxious people letting off steam in the only way they know how, drinking far too much and letting their hair down, also india won the prize for best dressed girl so she was thrilled The lows have been the state of the boat - which has been turned upside down more times over the last few weeks than I had the energy to put back together and the constant stream of things that needed doing, but in the end and with no spare time at all - we ticked off the last box on the project plan and left the marina along with everyone else, headed for the caribbean.

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