Leg 1 started at Southend Pier in the Thames Estuary. It is quite a historic place (I looked it up in Wikipedia) if you need some educational moments. The day was gray, misty and cold. The mooring we were supposed to hook onto when we arrived at 10pmish had not been there, so all the boats were rafted up side by side in a few rows at a dock.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Race Director Justin wished each Skipper and boat well as we left the docks. Our start was really pretty good. We were about 4th off the line and held our ground until everyone started putting up their kites (spinnakers)and going by. Diane wanted to play it safe as it was a tight reach, we had lots of miles to cover and LMAX had already had their kite explode on them. We then watched DaNang’s kite go shrimping (end up in the water) and cause a bit of an issue for them. As it turned out, we could have put up our kite because when we did, it blew up on us. It was brought back in with two nice long rips. Our sail people (yep, non experienced other than a class in Gosport for a day) then spent 3 days with the help of Deb working on it nonstop in shifts. Yes, I would have volunteered but was having my own issues with the green monster and did not want to give it a good reason to visit.
Three days later when it was finally repaired, it was stretched out from furthest forward in the bow we could get all the way down that hallway (head to tack) with the clew making a turn at the galley and going down the other hallway to the end of it. Very fun adventure trying to find how to unravel the kite as it came down through the boom and mainsail into the companionway and onto the floor. However, but end of leg one we had it figured out!!!!!
And then came the task of “wooling it” (tying a piece of yarn around it to prevent it from opening during the hoist).The ends go fairly quickly but the “belly” is a monster. Total result looks like this: We have 3 kites on board different sizes for different wind conditions. All went well with them until a small tear the last week which our now experienced Sailmakers fixed quickly.
Time to go to boat so more later! Have a great day!