Its Sunday morning 10.15am we are almost ready for the 13.00 start.
Crew photos taken.Alwyn Nicola Birgitte Ray and James
Weather reports to collect and water pressure so low waiting for it to pick
up to fill our tanks with 800 litres of fresh water.Have purchased water
filter devices to ensure we don't take on any dirty water on our travels.
This is the start of the big voyage some 2,900 miles across the Atlantic.
We all feel fresh with 10 hours sleep last night, having had a sober
last night and lights out at 10.00pm with revaley at 8.00 am this morning.
Raymondo is about to take his sea sickness pill with a view to working on
the principal that I should find my sea legs within the next 3 or 4 days we
have some serious bad weather forcast for Wednesday a low with winds of 45
Knots, they predicted bad weather for the start where as it is infact a
beautiful sunny day so with a bit of luck the low pressure willmove North
before we get to it.(Little did I think my prime thoughts in life would be
around highs and Lows!)
There is a web cam set up for the start at los Palmas it is on the Arc site
or on www.palmasport.es
We have managed the first day of our major voyage.
The start was calm we left our pontoon at 12.20pm on the 20th November,it
took forever to fill the water tank as pressure was low with all the other
yachts doing the same.
Wind speed was 8 to 10 knots and we were one of the first 20 Yachts crossing
the start line.
The weather forecast was that we would be hitting a low with winds in our
face ie south westerly, so having started with a northerly and cruising
shoots out it was a great start and spectacle, we enjoyed a a competative
start with some yachts getting closer than we wished but no disasters.
We even had time to enjoy lunch,however at short notice there was a complete
turn round in the wind which turned from a lul to winds of 30 to 35 knots on
our nose this at first was really exciting with the sea spraying over our
heads and as I( Ray) was on the helm still wearing T shirt dressed for the
weather at the start I got drenched!
We had a good sail reefed in and then when the wind seemed to drop let out
At 2035 there was a scream from Nicola/ Dame Ellen for help to reef down as
the wind had picked up to 30/35 again,at least we now know she has a strong
pair of lungs.Alwyn/Inspector Cludo and James/Brill boy were first to get up
with Alwyn going a over t as the boat was way over on its side as he was
still half asleep; all ended well except both Birgitte and I suffered with
sea sickness which was brought on by the strong smell of diesal in our
bilge.The sea was pretty rough with high waves of some 14feet.( We later
today managed to pump out the bilge and beleave we got about 3 litres of
neat Diesel, so Oyster will be getting a stiff email as I have already
reported this problem, from our Bay of Biscay experiance.
Today the weather has been a lot calmer unfortunately the wind is still on
our nose and the weather forecast is bad from tonight through to thursday
with another low front coming in.
I had my first test broadcast on my SSB radio today and stayed on to
report our postion, when at just before 1400 we heard a MAYDAY call from
yacht Leyenda ARC 223 they were handled efficiently by ARC control and the
MAYDAY call has been set down to a PAN PAN as the Yacht which has water
coming on board and they now appear to have control over the situation in
the mean time as I type we can hear on the SSB channel 4149.0 the rescue
helicopter communicating with the Yacht and Los Palmas control centre, it
seems the Yacht Leyenda has decided to go back to los Palmas and a rescue
boat will be sent to assist a tow, with the helicopter standing by, and
Leyenda has just announced 16.07 that they will be going back to Los Palmas
as although the water leak is in control they are concerned , as they don't
know where the water is coming from.The one good thing that has come out of
this whole experiance is the professional way and safety net created by
crossing the Atlantic with the ARC and its back up procedures, and
assistance given by other Yachts in case of emergency ,an announcement was
The wind has just turned and from a SW which was ending us South we now have
a South East gusting in all directions this could be the begining of the Low
front, unfortunately we are now sailing North West because of the shift in
wind as we want to be going South West at least we dont have a PAN PAN or
MAYDAY situation which helps bring this into perspective.
More LaterWish us luck and keep in touch as we are desperate for home news
and fond love to all our family and friends.
Ray and Birgitte