Departing Lanzarote

Sun 29 Dec 2013 18:34
28:51.43N 13:48.83W
Almost exactly four years ago, we first talked about the idea of sailing
across the Atlantic - something my father and I have dreamed about doing for
much longer than this. For the last 18 months, however, preparations have
been made in earnest. Getting ready involved some big preparations like
buying a boat (a Beneteau 41 named Carpe Diem), overhauling
her, purchasing safety equipment and ensuring that it all works as it
should. There have been even more small things to consider - finding a crew,
going on first aid and sea survival courses, testing every bit of equipment again,
ensuring that we can deal with equipment and power failure, and in the last
48 hours, changing the engine oil, provisioning for four people for up to
four weeks, meal planning, cleaning, stowing all our gear and food so that
it can't move during the voyage, ...

The fourth member of the crew, Stefan, is about to arrive. It's about 18:00
GMT and we'll then head off for a shower, followed by dinner. And then,
perhaps around 21:30 we'll head out to see. First past the other Canary
Islands and then towards the Caribbean, taking slightly more southerly route
at first, until we can be sure of catching the trade winds and turning

It's quite breezy at the moment - a good force 6 - but this is expected to
die down overnight and we would do well to get the first 100-odd nautical
miles under our belt and past Gran Canaria before the wind is expected to
die completely around the islands.

The difficult goodbyes of a couple of days ago seem a million miles away now
and we are all itching to get started. Still, it will be another milestone
to get going and a strange feeling to be unable to communicate other than by
an occasional mail via satphone.

More soon, hopefully.