Yesterday was one of those days when it couldn’t have got much better.
The Clipper fleet had an amazing send-off from Derry cheered on by crowds
of thousands + a flotilla of little boats + yachts accompanying us out to
race start at Greencastle – a heart-swelling, eyeing-welling gesture from a
community so generous yet in the past so riven.
The Red Arrows – who never fail to impress – put on an aerobics display
before race start for our benefit while we in our boats failed to maintain
our line in the face of true awesomeness + the stiff breeze.
The sighting of puffins for all the part looking as comical as fake-fur
toys. A first for me (+ there have been so many on this adventure).
The race start which we could not have timed better – over the line
towards the front + holding our own amongst a fleet of 12 magnificent boats
sailing not quite in close formation but close hauled, heeled over + doing
And then the sailing throughout the end of the day – close hauled and
ripping along in the wind, tide + the wintry sunshine. Skip summed up our
feelings of collective pride when the evening sched came in with the
‘Well I can safely say we are well and truly in the lead’. (Not that we
were minding you understand!)
Yesterday was great – and today is still great but it is deja vue and we
are still near the front of the fleet except that we have been joined by a
wind hole. And here we wallow just south of St Kilda’s Rock, offering
teabag libations over the side to the wind gods that the winds will fill in
+ once again we can get on with our sailing with a bit of winning thrown in
there just for good measure.