The start!

Sat 19 Sep 2009 17:25
Welcome to the blog!
After a very busy few weeks, we finally got the boat back into the water on 9th September, the mast back in on the 10th of September and at the same time we loaded all our gear and 9 months of basic supplies onto the boat.
From the River Hamble, our first trip was to Beaulieu for the RCC meet......the outside of the boat was looking relatively organised, however, the inside was a different story, with boxes, cases, bags etc etc, I know that I don't have a great reputation for tidiness, but this surpassed anything that I have managed before in the untidiness stakes! (Dom, you would have been horrified - the chart table not only had sets of keys on it - it was piled high with books, spanners, computers etc etc etc!) In the end, we just put whatever we could into the pilot berths and forward cabin and netted them off; not quite out of sight out of mind, but as close as you can get on a boat, and tried our best to avoid any interested visitors. Those that did come along were very charitable, but I am sure must have left rather horrified!
Beaulieu - Falmouth
We got up early on Monday 14th September and finally set sail for Dartmouth. We had a fantastic sail, indeed one of the best ever, with winds from the North and did a steady 10 knots across Christchurch bay, hit the tide gate at Portland and were going so well that we decided to continue onto Falmouth, arriving at midnight...pretty good going for a 150 mile trip.
Our plan was to spend a week or so in Falmouth doing some sorting, and I also had a couple more days to do back in the office; however as I am beginning to understand, plans and boats rarely seems to align themselves. On waking up the following morning and going through the weather charts, we could see a continuation of the North Easterlies, but a rather forbidding low pressure scudding across the Atlantic and a further intense depression behind it. So we decided to go for it. The only issue was that we had lined up a friend to help us across our first major passage, but he could not make the changed timetable. My father, without prompting offered to come along, which given that the last time he did Biscay was in a force 9, was a very generous offer, which was very much appreciated.
Falmouth - La Corunna
Biscay was a bit of a branding with fire. The force 5-7 that was forecast was there, was there in spades and a bit of force 8, the first 36 hours we were more survival mode than anything else. The most important occasion being Jennifer's first watch alone...done in 40 knots and at night (I don't think that I want to ask whether at that point she having second thoughts about coming on the trip with me...let alone saying yes to getting married, but she was fantastic!)! The only breakage being pulling out the kicker from the mast, and a very uncomfortable downwind ride, but with 3 reefs in the main, a scrap of Genoa out, the autohelm did an exceptional job with a peak surf registered at 14 knots, the order of the day being to slow things down! The last 24 hours were rather more sedate, with the wind on the quarter, and the motor having to push us along.
After a pretty quick 2 1/2 day trip across Biscay, we arrived at La Corunna in time for a brunch of Sangria.

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