First day out of Derry

We had a beautiful day for our send-off from Derry, wind and sunshine, and enthusiastic crowds waving us all off down the river. Down at Greencastle, we all enjoyed the spectacular show by the Red Arrows – I haven’t seen them in decades.
And then race start – we did quite well, starting on port tack, just ducking under Old Pulteny and ending up right next to GB and just down wind of them. It didn’t take long for the fleet to separate a bit, as where we need to go is dead upwind, so each boat made different decisions about where and when to tack to best make use of the wind and the tide. Our most important job this race is to stay within a couple of points of gB, so we tacked when they did – it was inline with our planned use of the stronger offshore current, anyway. Everbody has to keep their AIS on for the entire race this time, so there is no stealth at all – unless you fall so far behind or pull so far ahead that you are out of range. It should make things interesting
It was a late afternoon start, and it seemed a long day with sunset at around 9.3 and dusk stretching on forever. We had leaping dolphins gilded by the sunset, and were visited by larger ones in the dawn and through out the morning. We’ve also had whales spouting and even breaching, as well as gannets, guillemots, and so far, a solitary puffin.
THe wind became light soon after the start, and has fluctuated up and down for the first 24 hours – but it is definitely rather sedate sailing. We were treated to a view of the mountainous Scottish islands – Jura and – as we left Lough FOyle. I hadn’t realised they were only sisxty km away. But now it is cloudier and we see no land – occasional large ships, and a smattering of white sails ahead and behind as we all plug along, headed towards the all important tidal gate, still a couple of hundred miles away. Deb and Mike are mothering today – it’s Indonesian day again. All ou plans to shop for fresh food and a varied menu in Derry fell apart, so it’s very much same old, same old on the menu. But this SHOULD be our last ever Indi Day. We now have only one sink in use, as the other is draining straight into the cupboards. It seems Henrietta’s internal systems are almost as tired as here staysail – not to mention her crew – as we start these last few days of racing. But it’s beautiful summer weather, and we’re keeping Great Enemy behind us so far, so spirits are pretty high here for Team HLFiftyYOPS.

One thought on “First day out of Derry

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