Boats slipped their lines and headed out in turn to prepare for the start, 3000 nautical miles to Rodney Bay, St Lucia in the sunny Caribbean Sea.
The race began with light wind so most, if not all flew kites and spinnakers. This proved to be a test later as the fleet rounded the South Coast into the WAZ (wind acceleration zone), where a few sails blew out, and later Rapido, the race favourite, was diss-masted.
The first night tested the metal of all crews, with a NE F6-7 and confused sea state for 60 miles, but by sunrise it had settled to a gentle F4 and moderate swell.
The ARC had begun, and the crew of Just Joia settled down to begin the routine of sail trimming and changes, maintenance, watch keeping, galley duties, fishing etc etc etc.
Last blog for a few weeks, we leave today at 12.30h Sunday 19th November. We will turn SE out of Las Palmas and when past the bottom of Gran Canaria, we will bare off toward the SW, next stop Rodney Bay, St Lucia 2700 nautical miles.
Boat is fully provisioned, crew are briefed, ship shape and good to go. If you want to follow our progress, download YB Tracker App and then follow Race ARC Gran Canaria to St Lucia 2017. Search teams and we are ‘Just Joia’. World Cruising Club have Facebook under Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, no doubt they will have ongoing news of the teams.
Crew gathers for morning briefing, the new low on left of screen is the main topic. The race division will no doubt go straight for it, but Just Joia is heading South to skirt around toward Cape Verde Islands, before we head West for St Lucia.
Watch rota drawn up, we all have our time on duty indicated by A for Ad & B for Bob etc etc, mother is galley duty.
Final check aloft, Skipper Ollie has one last inspection of the fleet!
Just Joia heads out of Port with the fleet, next stop Rodney Bay.
We’ll see you the other side, farewell from Bob & Ad. 🤢