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Timshel - Timshel ARC Portugal Day 1

Lovely weather for the start, we hung back out of the way, but still ended up in the middle of the pack all stealing each others wind so it was slow getting out of Plymouth. Once clear coloured sails started to appear - initially these didn't seem to confer much advantage, then suddenly those boats pulled away. Our cruising chute hasn't been out of the bag for 2 years or more and with the sloppy sea we decided not to wrestle with it and stuck to a reach with 3 white sails. We do suffer a disadvantage with the cutter rig the yankee and staysail combination are great to handle a blow but we are under powered compared to boats with a big genoa, and our rolling main is smaller too. We spent some time playing with the Hydrovane self steering which also had not been recently used. It was lovely sailing in the sunshine though it gradually got colder and was very cold at night. We heard several of our rally mates calling up big ships. We were startled to find ourselves on a collision course with something doing 20 knots + which turned out to be a huge trimaran (17m square) but the French single hander gallantly altered course a little to pass in front. At dusk we decided to bear away to make sure we cleared the Ushant TSS and set up the pole to go wing and wing - Timshel is very stable and easy to steer with this configuration. We also deployed the towed generator. Next morning the boat was going really well, then a bit too well so we reefed the main and came back onto a reach. Had a problem when the chart table woodwork started to come apart, had to hurriedly get the tools out before the radios jumped out. Steve managed to get weather and emails over the SSB. And it is still sunny!

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