Clyde Challenger and crew, left her berth in Muelle Portivo Marina, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria on Sunday morning at 11.30 heading to Cape Verde on the first leg of the ARC+. The crew were on a high and couldn't wait to cross the start line.
Brian our Blue watch leader had brought his fiddle along and played us out of the marina to the delight of our crew, other participants in the race and spectators who had turned out to see the boats leaving. The atmosphere was electric and very emotional. Once underway the crew started their watches, which were 3, Red, White and Blue and soon we were all into a routine and working well together.
Once we reached the southern end of Gran Canaria we set a course of 220° and headed for Cape Verde. The wind slowly got less and less and it was decided to start the engine and motor sail with less than 3kn of wind. Most of the cruising fleet were also motoring. As morning approached we witnessed a beautiful sunrise motor sailing until 13.45.
Winds continued favourably but then started to build and at 2am the following morning the skipper had to reef in the main. Throughout the next day the sea state was moderate and we were averaging 6-7kn . Toward evening the wind and seas began to build again and another reef was put in the main and the Yankee headsail. Our peak gust overnight was recorded at 49 Kn. Winds eased after a few hours to an average of 25-33 kn which is allowing us to maintain a comfortable average speed of 7-8 kn.
The Red Watch decided yesterday to add a bit of fun to the leg by throwing down the gauntlet to the other two watches by coming on watch today with their red war paint on and are now looking for a suitable name for themselves. Watch this space for more. One of the white watch members has also started a sweepstake to see who can predict the time we will cross the line at Cape Verde!