Casting Off

Sun 18 Jan 2015 12:23
14:28.046N 060:51.948W

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Today is the start of Lovesail’s passage to Panama.

We set off under the auspices of the Blue Planet Rally, a round the world event, aiming to raise awareness of the threats climate change poses to the world oceans and the communities that depend on them.  We will be travelling with 7 other vessels on the route from Martinique to Panama, then rendez vous with other boats joining from alternative routes along the rally and transit the Panama Canal.

This is the start of a lifelong dream for Mark and Elizabeth – to travel west to the Pacific Ocean and explore the islands thereof.  We are joined on board by daughter Lulu and son in law Bungles from Australia, and friend Michael Moreland from the UK.  We all transited the Atlantic together in 2012 so are familiar crew companions. 

Lulu and Bungles arrived in Martinique a week ago, and after getting over jetlag, have been busy on board helping with the preparations.  Elizabeth has done an incredible job of mapping out provisions required for 5 months – no enviable task – and with Lulu’s help the two have been busy scouring (and emptying) the shelves of the supermarket.  It has been stored in every nook and cranny across the boat in an orderly fashion.

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Mark and Bungles spent many steaming hot days in the forward locker pulling apart the generator to fix it.  A high priority before departing, and one fraught with bangs, crashes, and sweaty frustrations.  But perseverance won the day and the sweet engine sound of “hub-bub-bub-bu-b-b-b-b-b-b-b” returned to our ears along with cheers of delight from all on board.  A celebratory swim and cold beers were welcomed.

In the last few days, all hands have been busy assisting with the final preparations for the passage, for example, filling water and diesel, maintenance of navigation lights, checking rigging and fittings, stowing tools and spare parts, finishing laundry and completing final departure paperwork.

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Looking ahead, the weather is forecast for slight seas and following winds between here and the San Blas Islands.  We will stop there for a week before continuing to Panama.