Dilema - Start of World ARC Leg 1

We're off again! Nelson (I believe) said ships and men rot in port and I can now see what he means. Not that being tied up on a cosy pontoon with unlimited water, electricity, showers, restaurants, bars, cafes and a full social programme, including a whole community of new friends to share it with, isn't delightful, but it's not sailing!

Our ARC farewell party at the Harbour Club beach bar was on Thursday evening and on Friday we woke to the last day of preparation for Leg 1 of the World ARC; Saint Lucia to Santa Marta. This is about 850 miles and should take us until Thursday afternoon. Wind is supposed to be fresh to start with and building to strong as we approach Santa Marta so it should be a quick sail. We're excited to be starting at last.

Saturday morning admin out of the way (pay the marina bills, clear customs and have crew photos taken) we slipped lines at around 1030 and motored out to the bay to feel the wind for an hour or so before the start at noon. We had a good start, crossing the line 4th out of around 30 boats and only dropping back a couple of places on the first day. DILEMA is behaving well and, although it's not a race, it is fun to be near the front for a while! Not that we'll place that well in the rankings because of our handicap but are we bothered?

We had a little challenge soon after the start in the form of a close encounter with a supertanker which decided to cross through our fleet right in front of us. It came remarkably close as it accelerated past, forcing us to jibe to keep clear. No hassle though, we jibed and then put our pole out, the preventer on and with goose-winged sails powered off downwind and admired a fantastic view of the rest of the fleet behind us!