Sunday & Monday
The start at Las Palmas included a local band, police and fire launches and crowds lining the break water. The racers set off first with lots of macho manoevering, then the multi-hulls and finally the cruising division, including us. Our promising start (described by Panfilo as also being full of testosterone) saw us overhaul many in the fleet and we soon left a good number in the distance. However our subsequent route choice has left us lagging and we have changed tack a few times to try to restore our position.
The wind has been strong at up to 30 knots and the waves between 2 and 3 metres. Enough to make it impossible to finish cooking supper last night. The rolling and pitching that accompanies downwind sailing has left a few of us, some old sea dogs included, feeling a bit green. A pod of dolphins entertained us this afternoon, darting and leaping across and under the bow.
Watches are in 3 hour shifts, with 3 per watch, so we are doing 3 watches every 24 hours.
The wind has dropped and we have tacked to head further south.If we keep on this tack we could soon leave Western Sahara to port and pass Mauritania, but we will no doubt head on a more westerly tack soon. The trade winds have so far eluded us. Attempts to raise the Genneker were aborted and it looks as though we will have to stick with the jib. The sight this morning of other boats sporting spinnakers initially caused some jealousy until our captain Pasquale explained that our keel is not right for that sort of rig.
The calmer winds meant that Panfilo could show us all his abdominal exercises this morning and we have also put out our fishing line. This only works at around 8 knots so our speed has fallen off from the 9-14 range of the first 24 hours.