Monday 21st November

Mon 21 Nov 2005 10:39
Title: Message
Well we are on our way but what start to the trip!
It all started with a great send off from Gran Canaria, Tom the pipes did us proud with a 1/2 hour of tunes as we took our place in line to leave the marina. The crowd gave him a big cheer as we went out to sea.
There were bands playing on the harbour wall and a very big crowd to send us on our way. Simons wife Denise cast us off with a few tears in her eyes and we spotted TJ and Lee our riggers from North Wales on the wall at the marina entrance as we left.
The start was a little tight as some of the bigger boats converged on the line. We got up some speed and Andy decided to push the boat through the eye of a needle as we just made it between four similar sized boats and then we were racing.
We all sat back after 30 minutes thinking the weather was fine, a clear sky, flat sea's and a reasonable breeze but we were so wrong! An hour later we hit a big squall with 10' feet high waves breaking over the bow.We were all drenched from head to toe and endured 6 hours of very heavy weather. Despite a few panic's as the crew all got used to their roles on board we found our way and were forced south by the wind towards the African coast. The sun set very quickly and as darkness came it was pitch black making the task of sailing the boat even more difficult. We were all getting very cold and tired at his stage. The winds settled down as the night rolled on however and by dawn we were settling into calmer sea's.
Because of the very sudden onset of yesterdays storm we were not able to follow the planned route along the rum line and have ended up going south through the night and then after looking at the weather model, Andy, decided to re-route us to the west. There is a big empty patch with no wind to get around.
Everybody seems to settling in now and after a breakfast of bacon butties we are are catching up and getting used to the boat
It's going to be a long 2/3 days until we find the wind. Most of the crew are doing some sleeping while we write this, catching up from last night! We changed our watch system on the first day from a 2 man to a 3 and sometimes 4 man watch so there are some tired heads.
More tomorrow.