Day 1 Bang goes the gun

Sun 12 Jan 2014 20:54
Saturday 11th January

After last minute shopping in the farmers market in the marina getting greens, herbs and eggs, we set off at noon with all the other circumnavigators. Everyone reversing out of their berths and nearly smashing into each other, then a stately procession of boats down the cut to Rodney Bay, waving and shouting at our friends on other boats, Ghost and Firefly, and waving goodbye to friends on the dock. One couple with their dog Bumble who famously crossed the Atlantic, managing to do his business on the foredeck in those rolly seas amazing.  The atmosphere was really moving as most of these boats will return back to St Lucia in April 2015 having sailed all round the world.

Then into the bay where a brisk breeze got up and then the gun and we're off. On one boat Alpharatz the guy was blowing his conch making such a massive sound, others blowing fog horns and the ARC organisers on the radio wishing us all well, and see you in Panama.  I had a lump in my throat and goose bumps. Very thrilling.
Getting our sails organised poled out in quite a rough swell involved a High Faff Factor as Imo puts it, but eventually after James and I had a roll around the foredeck hanging onto a pole, Harry and Imo got the sails rigged and once we had rounded the mark and got the swell behind we were good to go. Wizzing along together as a fleet, calling each other on the radio, was brilliant.  The sea and wind settled into comfortable trades and after supper we sailed through the night by the light of a bright waxing moon. Such a change from the Atlantic when the nights were often so dark with clouds and rain.
During our first night at sea we had a hitch hiker, a bird sat on the boom all night we thought he might stay to Panama but he alighted at dawn.