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Endeavour III - Endeavour III ... And we're Off!

We spent our final day in Las Palmas doing some last -minute food shopping (Endeavour’s *cough cough - KEVIN’S* motto is ‘more is more’) to ensure if we decide to continue onwards to New Zealand, we will have enough essentials, such as Ottolenghi Berber spice rub, to fuel us with needing to stop and resupply.

We had our safety briefing in the afternoon where we went over the daily inspection checklist and discussed the liferaft, emergency tiller, and bilge pumps (all things I sincerely hope we will never have to use, mostly because I was quite hungry by this point and my mind was more focused on when we were going to open the Pringles downstairs). Imara and myself then did a first aid briefing; explaining the medical kit and key messages for how to keep ourselves healthy at sea. There was a fair amount of interest in the Penthrox (gas and air), and as to what exactly constituted an injury serious enough to warrant its’ use, and whether feeling fed up with our other crew members was a sufficient indication to require its dissociative analgesia.

We then went out for our last meal on land at Pier 19 restaurant, where we each chose our human Cluedo victims, which will be the high point of our entertainment onboard. Every person writes a location on the boat and a moveable object on the boat, which go into hats alongside a hat of all the names of the crew, and then every person picks out a name, location, and object. In order to ‘kill’ your victim, you need to get your named person to that location and take that object from you. You’ll hear more about this later…

We all awoke early with the excitement of the day finally being upon us, and Kev, Imara and myself all went for a run along the seafront for a final stretch of the legs before they start to wither after 3 weeks confined to an allotment-sized patch of boat. Like astronaut’s returning from space, I do hope whoever is greeting us in St Lucia will have wheelchairs to aid us off the boat with our atrophied limbs. A final fill of the water tank and empty of the rubbish bins and then we were slipping our lines and saying goodbye to solid land for the last time.

At 1pm we crossed the start line with roughly 80 other Division A cruising boats, and we were off! The waters were very choppy to begin with as we rode up and down large waves, and briefly found ourselves in 1st place! Although this was quite an exhilarating start to the trip, the choppy waters meant waves crashing over the boat and at one point Kevin and myself got drenched (and the first casualty of the trip… my phone… sorry Holly!). As we were all getting swung around the boat, as well as Kev instructing everyone to clip on with their life jackets, at every particularly large wave I felt an extra hand gripping onto my life jacket and pinning me down, so clearly Kevin took Karen’s warning seriously – that he shouldn’t return home without me.

As I was just writing this from Kevin’s cabin, a torrent of water poured onto my head from the ceiling. Thinking despite all the safety checks the boat had just split in half, I cried out MAYDAY and Kevin came to my aid and we discovered he had left his hatches (the windows in the ceiling that open onto the deck) slightly open and about a bathtub’s worth of water and a couple of marine creatures had come down through them as we hit a big wave. Luckily, this was easily rectified, and we towel-dried the cabin.

The choppy waters continued into the evening, and we had sausage sandwiches with beans and chips for dinner. This simple meal proved to be a huge effort that took over 2 hours and required 3 people steadying each other and holding onto the ketchup and mustard to prevent them shooting around the galley.

And there we had it, our first day at sea! Now for an interesting night having dreams we are in a tumble drier…

Tash – Monday 21st November.

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