Sat 28 June 2014

Basil Panakis
Sat 28 Jun 2014 11:48
38:28N 26:58W    
Last night I reduced sail as the wind picked up, but after a while died down. I had to stay awake most of the night in case of wind shifts and ending up on rocks. We were becalmed for a while this morning. We are going east and sometimes with a bit of northing.
Fastnet one.  We qualified for the race by doing the prerequisites. I had a sail back from St Malo as my people were staying for a bit of cruising in Chris' boat, a Contest 33. Brilliant sail, getting up at midnight by Alderney, the moon was in full swing and the sea all silver, and doing over 11 kt over the ground. This boat later had her transom ripped off by the rescuers in the gale.
Our boat was Derring Do and about a month before the Race we were invited to the Lord Mayor of London party at Cherbourg. Nobody checked the weather and we hit a gale half way across the Channel. Ruined the engine and we were towed in to port. A Trinity house engineer came around and sort of fixed it. Next day it would not start so we came back to UK by ferry. That was it, we had no engine and we did not take part in that ill fated year. 1981 was the year we started all over again and that was my first year. In one of the qualifying races to St Malo again, we had very light wind and I was on the helm and did quite well. I was promoted to be the helm for the Fastnet.
There were a different sort of crowd very rich and very privileged  ie the Lord Mayor (Ken, an accountant) sat on the table opposite me and he asked me whether I went to church. One of my teacher's invited me to his church (St Mary the Recliffe) in Bristol and he came out and walked me in while the congregation was waiting for me to go and seat in the front raw where they had saved a seat for me. Quite a few people ask me whether I go to church is this strange or not?  
There is a lot really to write about this but I think I should keep it short. I need to have a bite and then put my head down.