Cast Off

26:56.1N 017:15.4W  1200 UT Friday, 13 Jan
So after the last hot bath (Gatwick airport hotel), the last supper (yummy fish restaurant in San Andres), the last hot shower (this turned out to be stone cold – at the marina), the last breakfast, and so on, we finally cast off from Tenerife at 1200.  Conditions were sunny, breezy in port and blustery outside.  But once clear of the shore we found ourselves in a sloppy sea and dying winds.  However our last act on land  was to leave our mark on the harbour wall, following the tradition of many a transatlantic sailor.  Resident artist and master craftsman Craig designed a magnificent insignia and then prepared templates.  When all was ready, the spray paint was applied, and voila!  Lovesail may be gone, but not forgotten.  Thank you Bungles.
 
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Then it became the matter of firsts:  Elizabeth’s first home baked loaf of bread (thank you Elizabeth)
 
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And first Tim Tams (thank you Ann Pinney!):
 
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First dinner, first night watch and first use of the engine!  Yes, the breeze died altogether and so the donkey was called to service on our first day at sea.  I must say that this was primarily to get free of land, not to make miles, so the precedent is unlikely to be repeated for a while.  Day turned to night.  The lights of Tenerife slid behind us and the breeze filled in, rising to a rather brisk F5/6  by morning, and the sea built up with it.   Lovesail handled it all well and we went skidding along at 6-7 kts under reefed canvas.  The crew settled in and a few wrinkles ironed out. It’s great to be on our way.