35:25.7N 6:23.9W

Excellence of Dart
Peter Coxon
Sat 1 Nov 2014 21:03

DAY ONE 1 Nov 2014 2100hrs


Crew: Pete Coxon, Steve and Janet Pucket, Neil Harper, Leigh Dobson


The crew of the good ship Excellence assembled last night in Gibraltar and set off today at 1235hrs in a stiff NE breeze.


First 2 dolphin spotted then we dodged tankers and container vessels as we crossed the shipping lanes before rounding the NW tip of Africa past Tangier. Had our first practice at reefing (twice) as we experienced an early, all be it brief yachtsman’s gale force 7 as soon as it went dark and we topped 11K for a while. Janet is still unaware of this having slept through it all. Steve is still champion chef as well as quartermaster. We’re eating well so far- early days I know!


Neil showing early signs of prudence encouraging skip to reef down early (duly ignored naturally). Leigh has smiled all through the gale and, being the youngest and newest crew  has accordingly been named ‘Roger the Cabin Boy’  as the ship’s custom dictates.


A cold start to the trip with jumpers and jackets donned yet just 50 miles south, coasting down the west side of Morocco it is already warming nicely, despite it being 9.30pm (2130).  Now after 9 hrs and 68 miles under the keel the crew are settling into watches and good banter. Skipper’s perks include not doing watch duty and is trusting that he will not be woken for his views and opinions too often through the night.  Pucket’s shots are random and from the hip so you never know who he will fire at next J. Keith, always ready to make a brew and share his stock of sweets is equally generous with his  stories. So far we are all still listening...


Heading for Rabat, the capital of Morocco under a clear half moon. NE wind means a calm sea now. All is well.