The week started with blowing a gale and our first introduction to the complete watch system. This watch system will become our lives for the next 11 months as we circumnavigate the world sleeping no longer than 3-4 hours at a time. This was also the week that we held the projectile vomit contest with 70% of the crew getting friendly with the leeward rail as they feed the fishes.
We sailed away from the Solent into the English Channel with the idea of making land fall in the Channel Islands. However as sailing goes no plan ever survives the first couple of hours. Due to the fact that we are all still learning all the evolutions and how to run a 68foot yacht we ran drill after drill coasting into the English Channel only starting the watch system at 9pm. With waves crashing over the rail and rain coming directly into your eyes is was safety harnesses a-go with two of the crew having been stopped from getting swept overboard by this handy piece of kit.
Out in the English Channel sailing west, I was just getting ready to come off watch when we noticed that there was a small tear in the Main sail. Pretty quickly that small tear became a big tear and it was all hands on deck to help get the main sail down. We hoisted the tri-sail as the replacement and headed for Plymouth so that we could all rest our weary bodies and get a good night sleep.
Sail repair commenced bright and early with a slightly unusual technique of sticky-flexing the two sections together and then adding sail sticky cloth onto and finishing off with some hand stitching. Now you might think that stitching a sail is no big deal but when you need pliers’ to pull the needle through it becomes a slightly lengthy process. But in the end with a little patience we fixed it all until it looked brand new – well almost, and pottered back out to sea for some more spinnaker work in light winds and blue skies.
Towards the end of this week we organised a small race with two of the other boats and I am pleased to report that CV5 (the very boat I will be sailing around the world) won… Yeh.