finally on our way!

Chill Out
Geoff Evans
Mon 24 Nov 2008 21:33
Position update
25:23.N 17:13.W
Today is an exciting day! (now yesterday) Bugger it! Now it's Monday, I did'nt see that the mail was'nt sent, so I'll try again!
We've been busy the last few days getting the boat ready, but found time to play a round of golf (18 holes, all par 3's) on Friday (won't say who won)! Friday night we took a taxi into the old town for a meal and a few drinks and finished off by going to the official ARC party close to the marina, which was really good fun.
I'll suffice to say that a late night was had by all (very late by some) and after a long day yesterday recovering, and an early night by all, we were all up early this morning raring to go (just a slight exaggeration)!
There were a lot of last minute jobs to be fixed and items to be bought, including the fishing gear for the all important "fresh fish of the day" competition!
The marina was a hive of activity as all the boats made their last minute preperations, there were bands playing and a it was a really festive activity as the boats left one by one.
The marina walls were lined by hundreds of people, and as each boat passed the final pier, they were wished well over the loudspeaker system, to lots of cheering and waving from the crowds!!
We cast of our lines at 11:30 and made our way out of the harbour, it was a really special feeling..hard to describe!
Our start group was at 13:00 and after a bit of practise, we had our tactics straight and got off to a really good start.
The boats were all spread out, and after a while we decided on our course and put the gennaker up..which was interesting as it had never been used on the boat before.
All went well and we had some good sailing for a while, when it was time to put in a gybe we realised that there was a problem with the lowering sock for the gennaker and had to pull the gennaker down into the cabin to sort out the problem and repack it.
Just after we had done this, we saw another boat close by with the exact same type of problem, but they were not so lucky and there sail was ripped into pieces as they tried to get it down.
Its now eight thirty in the evening (now 12:00 next day) and I am updating via the sattelite telephone which is slow and expensive, so I'm just adding a couple of pictures to this update to see how it goes and how long it takes. One of the crew just before leaving the marina, one of Fireman Bosse using our outdoor facilities, and one of the view from our office mid Atlantic (well almost)!
We will do an update every day.
Love from all of us onboard to our families and friends
Jeff Thomas Mats and Bosse