ARC - Day 1

Donald Macdonald
Mon 23 Nov 2020 15:34
Day 1 was very busy at sea and tiring.
The beat initially from the start was fine then the wind got lighter and by 6pm was just 3-4 knots in a lumpy sea. Still being very close the land meant always checking COG to ensure not heeding for the rock outcrops. We were have a tussle with Escapardo with their crew of 8. Just after dark we decided to try the Code 0 as wind was backing and to get any speed we were going east for a while. The sail worked and started to open up the gap. About 2am the wind started to increase and we were able to clear the island with wind veering we took it for  while then gybed to ensure we did not get any wind shadow. The wind increased to 20 knots with 14-15 apparent. Then it happened, the shackle on the Bowspit pole broke letting go of the sail. First just going up about a meter being held on the furling line and had gone up to windward, the feeder on the bow then broke and snapped the elastic at the stern holding the furling line in place. LOUD SHOUT and banging of feet to get John out his bunk. About 10 minutes later all calm, jib out. The Code 0 has damage but until a less wind day will not see if we can fix it. Code 0 not normally great help in this race.
In the light wind area after the start most yachts in the cruising division motored south to the wind. Swallows and Amazon went by us at 8 knots and I saw the helm being brought drinks from the forward cabin area. What a different world.
Since then we have been doing 7-8 knots regularly, too lumpy to fly kite and we are hand steering as massive 'S'ss' and almost gybing us. Presently on 2 hour stints during day and 1 this evening.
WE were planning to route north once around Gran Canaria as forecasts had big areas of no wind, today they are not present, therefore we plan to go direct route and amend later if required.
Hot on the boat already shorts and t-shirt maybe a fleece 4-6 am.
John saw his 1st flying fish.
Little over the 1st 24 hours completed 156nm.
Dinner this evening with be Beef Vegetable soup, cheese, baguette and then sliced peaches.