The day began at 05:00. Coffee, lines rigged to slip, then waiting for our turn out of the lock. High tide was at 04:18 this morning. So as soon as it was light the boats began departing in order of keel depth. Knowing it was neap tide, it was imperative that we all get out quickly. Dani and her team really shined on the planning. Our World arc team came to see us off, and although with our full keel, we were the last of five boats through the lock, just as the sun rose, we scooted out across the sand banks with a foot of water to spare! It was a game of hurry-up-and-wait. Once clear of the sandbars, we all anchored off of Stokes wharf to await the 10:00 start. The south easterly wind obliged us, filled in to 15 knots for the start. We put out one reef in each big sail on a 120 port tack across the line. Thirty minutes later Captain set the pole up on the port side to go wing on wing with an east wind, only as he just finished setting it up, we had a major wind shift! So he redid everything, we gybed, putting the main on a starbrd tack, making use of the east by northeast wind, moved the pole to the other side, and went wing on wing full out with the staysail sheeted tight in the middle. This worked lovely for three hours, with 18 knots of pure joy, until the wind took a veer to straight north, and laid down to 8 knots. “Huh?” The wind had no northerly forecast at all...oh well, down off the pole came the Genoa, furled away to stop flapping like a Gibson girl, and on came the “iron genny”. We carried on motor sailing under staysail and main until suppertime when amazingly the wind veered another 90 degrees to due west. Not usable at all now, coming straight on our nose, we furled all the canvas and resigned ourselves to motoring. I went down for my first sleep with three knots of wind on the nose, and came up to 15 knots from the west south west...completely the wrong side for the boom preventer. Solution was to just carry on with Genoa alone, figuring that by the next shift change, we will be dealing with yet another wind shift...it IS supposed to blow from the eastern quadrant in this part of the world, I guess we are experiencing the last effects of the vast Australian landmass. So, here we have had fifteen hours of sailing, and wind from every quadrant. Not a dull start at all! The boats have spread out until we no longer can pick up AIS signals, but all were accounted for in the evening roll call overseen by Babsea. It is good to be on the water again!image1.