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Date: 29 May 2013 15:40:22
Title: 38 41N 28 34W

Horta towards Hamble    Day 0

Well we are off. Light winds are forecast so we have extra fuel on board to be prepared for lots of motoring. We have a range of about 1000nm if we go slowly with 1200nm to Southampton so a few days sailing are required.

Today’s picture shows Horta in the background – our home for the last few days.  Everybody falls in love with Horta. It is relaxed, friendly and almost everyone there is off a boat. We have fond memories as we leave behind middle Earth (as we call it).  After no alcohol on the crossing some of us take the odd sip ashore.  We have had drinks on a 62ft catamaran, a 100ft mono-hull and many places in between.  Met a honeymoon couple who now want to sail on GE, a pirate ship with 50 Swedes on board, a Frenchman with the thickest beard you have ever seen, and the tallest man on the planet.  One or two of us learned a new dance though now lost in the mists of time.  Ben has a stowaway Hobbit smuggled on board hoping the Skipper will not find out but I suspect the Hobbit will head back to middle Earth soon enough.  Farewell Horta.  ‘Allo Hamble.

Tony has joined us from Toronto and is already helming. He has done a few long trips so is a welcome addition to the crew. In particular, the shift system now gives us a big sleep and a wee sleep alternately. I.e. 3hrs on, 3 off, 3 on, 6 off.  We also overlap so each person does 1hr with someone and 2hrs with someone else.  The rota advances each day then repeats every 5 days. Confused?  So are the crew and a little congregation gathers around the rota at watch changes. We will soon get used to it.

We are now 10 miles out and are sailing but only just, since the wind has dropped.  We are heading North of the shortest route hunting for more wind.  As we do so, we all think of the homes we are heading towards and are torn between enjoying our adventure and being beamed home. We want both.  Know we are thinking of you.

Bon voyage to those on land and at sea.

Stephen

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