Leaving Gran Canaria and the start of the ARC

Chiscos - Atlantic Cruise
John Simpson
Fri 25 Nov 2011 15:11
25:38.57n 019:06.54w
Finally the day arrived for the start of the ARC and for us to leave Gran Canaria. We had had a truly amazing fortnight of partying and preparation, but we were all ready to leave when the big day came.
Julia provisioned the boat well. In fact, I'm sure we are the best provisioned boat in the entire fleet!! Word of her outstanding culinary skills had got round the other boats and we had several offers of  positions on other (far more glamorous)boats. However, sense prevailed and she remained as part of the Chiscos crew!
As departure time arrived there were some frantic photo sessions with crews all in their official 'kit'. The Chiscos crew looked very smart indeed.
We then helped a number of our friends leave the pontoon and played a suitable tune on the trumpet as they departed. It was a very good humored and joyous affair.
Finally it was our turn to leave and we slipped quietly out. The sight which greeted us around the corner of 300+ boats was breath taking. The skipper played 'We are sailing' as we left the marina which received rapturous applause!
We kept well clear of the racing boats at the start and crossed the line 6'40'' after the gun had gone off.
It was a truly amazing day and one we will all treasure for a long time.
We are now two days into the crossing and life on board has settled into something of a routine. The watch system has been going well. Despite leaving with 225 other boats, all going to the same destination, we can no longer see a single other  boat! The daily radio sked is working well and it is good to hear everyone on the ssb.
We are now 50 hours into the crossing and have covered 297 miles 2503 to go!!!