Getting to know you in La Gomera
29 November 2017 - Day 1 - Irene III maiden trans-Atlantic voyage
It’s finally time for our epic trans-Atlantic adventure to begin! Well almost…….
We send you greetings from the port of San Sebastian, on the island of La Gomera in the Canaries, situated off the north-west coast of Africa.
Our vessel, Irene III, is an Oyster 575, measuring 60 feet in length. She arrived in La Gomera during the middle of October and has been moored here under the watchful Guardianage of Canary Sail.
Over the past six weeks, the boat has had her decks scrubbed and oiled, her metalwork polished and all systems tested, in anticipation of her impending Atlantic debut.
The crew comprises Louis Goor - Skipper (Irene’s immensely proud owner), Johnny Frey – First Mate, Sean Boyle – Navigator, Dr. John Hunter-Holmes – Chief Medical Officer, Sabine Hirsohn – Musician & Sailor and John Egan – Hill Walker!
We met each other for the first time less than 24 hours ago, having travelled variously from San Francisco, the Napa Valley, London, Dublin and Co. Wicklow. After what was a jet-lagged sleep for some, we rose early and set about our final pre-voyage checks of all the equipment on board as well as provisioning for up to 20 days at sea.
We formed two teams, Louis, John HH and Sean; looking after the rigging and equipment checks while Johnny F, Sabine and John E stormed the local hyper market and returned with 12 heavy shopping bags of groceries, fruit and veg and enough meats to make up six main course meals for the freezer.
Louis’s main priority for today is to get a newly acquired satellite phone connected to Irene III’s navigation system. Despite telephone support from his IT expert in Dublin, this system is not yet operational.
John HH has rigged a system of preventer sheets, which will ensure that we avoid unwanted gybes mid-ocean while Sean has fitted Jack lines the full length of the boat, to which we will tether our safety harnesses on the high seas.
The Lazarette has been tidied, our spare sheets have been re-coiled. Most importantly, Sabine made a mid-afternoon facetime call to her son, Quinn Hirsohn in Los Angeles, rousing him from his slumbers to wish him a happy 21st birthday.
For a newly formed crew, we’ve had a very harmonious, calm and productive start to our time together.
Now as the sun sets behind the rocky headland, it’s time to find a local local taverna where we can plot tomorrow’s work list and continue with our culinary preparations.