Fantastic an ocean full of sails a warship to mark the start line and a two
tugs forming a salute with enormous fans of water from their fire
Even more amazing was the fact that our starting helmsman, who will remain
nameless, managed not only to arrange matters so that we were positioned at the
windward end but we were actually facing the correct direction and very close to
the line when the starting gun sounded at 1300 hrs the crew were amazed!
The athletic crew then sprang into action hoisting the asymmetric spinnaker
and we sped away from the line, we were encouraged to see a large majority of
the fleet behind us, see photo.
Encouraged by our success we had lunch.
The afternoon drifted past and night fell, although it didn’t as
there is a full moon and a clear sky so with 18 knots of warm breeze on the rear
quarter we head south towards Cape Verde.
Our first night at sea has passed, not without some fun and games.
Just as the sun went down the asymmetric spinnaker decided to wrap itself around
the forestay and the resultant twist took the combined efforts of the whole crew
to clear and get the sail down. Once achieved we hoisted the ‘belgium
genoa’, a devised that stops such events happening but because it is made of
webbing straps, it was itself a little like a snakes wedding when it came out of
the sail bag. Therefore the whole incident from wrap to getting the sail
set again took 1hr 30 mins.
After that we thought we were set fair in a NE breeze of 15 kts, however a
sharp gust had the autopilot overwhelmed and the asymmetric blew out when the
tack (bottom of the sail) came off in one piece! The sail was recovered
and the rest of the night was spent under No1 jib and full main. With
sunrise at 0700, we hoisted the large spinnaker and set off after the pack at 7