Day 1 | We're off!

Mon 26 Nov 2018 13:00
25 12.9N 015 50.4W @1300UT 26/11/2018
Daily Run 191nm
Tune of of the day: "Purple Rain" by Prince
S/Y Theia of London and her 5-man crew of Mark, Minkey, Iain, Ben and Mike are off like a shot across the Atlantic.
This is the 3rd time Mark, Minkey, Ben and Mike have crossed the Atlantic together. However for Iain, this is his first after previously learning to dinghy sail on a pond in Cheshire over the summer, watching you-tube videos of the Vendee globe and then joining the Theia crew for a "training weekend" in Sardinia in September, most of which was spent in the bar.
After crossing the start line at Las Palmas, the first 24hrs have given us some some unpredicted, but welcome, champagne sailing conditions. All forecasts pointed to us having to drift over the start line in very light winds, but a steady North Easterly breeze emerged enabling us to launch "Prince", our purple asymmetric spinnaker sail, and work our way through the fleet, taking advantage of every wind bend that we could get our hands on. Theia really got into her stride and we have found ourselves powering along.
Clear of Gran Canaria, we set a South Easterly course, which had us heading towards Western Sahara, rather than St. Lucia.  However, fear not, we haven't lost the ability to navigate, we are trying to position ourselves to pick up the trade winds which are currently lurking south of us, and which will hopefully propel us over to the Caribbean as quickly as possible.
As night fell, the red mist also descended, and even though we had explicitly agreed that on our first night, we would take it easy and take Prince down to sail "white sails only" (as safer configuration of sails for night time sailing), we decided to leave Prince up as he was serving us so well. With a cloudless night and the moon rising late, our confidence was brimming  we were all gazing up at the blanket of the stars in the night sky and admiring the pods of dolphins who had joined us, leaping in our bow wave and leaving a twisting trail of phosphorescence in their wake.  Everything was just too perfect.
And then it all changed.
At 1am, with Mark on the helm and Mike in the pit, and everyone else off watch asleep, there was a loud pop! The soft shackle that had attached the bottom edge of Prince failed, sending our beautiful purple spinnaker flailing into the starry night sky.  All hands were immediately called on deck and after much fumbling about in the dark and an awful lot of 'whose silly idea was it to fly kites at night', we finally hauled Prince down from the stars and continued under white sails for the rest of the night.  Poor Iain, who had been sold the image of a 'gentleman's cruise' was a little overwhelmed by the commotion and went back to his bunk ever so slightly terrified.  To make matters worse, when he arose this morning feeling a little green (he is still finding his sea legs) it was to the sight of us re-launching Prince again - we are hoping he will start speaking again in the next day or two. 
Theia Crew
Today's "firsts" for Iain
- Ocean sailing
- Start of a yacht race
- Nausea
- Gybing a spinnaker
- Seeing the Milky way
- Watching dolphins at night
- Middle of the night "all hands on deck" call
- Spinnaker broach
Daily Stats
Max boat speed: 11.4kts
Pizzas eaten: 5
Dolphins spotted: 3
Gybes executed: 10
Flying Fish on deck: 0
Buckets of vomit: None so far