11/05/2010 - The Departure: Part II

After breakfast we were informed that the captain was still on shore and so it was all hands to the domestics while we awaited his return, hopefully with news of the state of the RADAR machines.  He arrived mid morning and we were swiftly ordered to haul up the boat which was a promising sign, as once up, there was no way of getting to shore!

The captain addressed us and informed us that we were going to sail off the anchor, apparently quite a feat for a new crew and never done before,.. no  mention was made of the RADAR machines, so I assume the second was not fixed,.. maybe we’ll do it in Panama!

The wind was a light westerly 1-2 and the sun even poked its head out for us,.. we ran around like decapitated poultry pulling on lines and getting all sails set and finally headed away from the magnetic centre of Canada that is Lunenburg and out towards Panama.  The deck was strewn with snake-like coils of rope waiting to ensnare the next clumsy trainee.  Going aloft at sea was a different experience to land, the blue ocean seemed to stretch out all around us like a giant dimpled cushion, aware that a fall would still kill me, just the thought that I could hit water not land was comforting and the view was spectacular.  Jon and I paused briefly at the first yard and just looked out for a minute or two whilst everyone ran around on deck, a moment of calm in the midst of the confusion below.

The engine was turned off briefly and in the silence for the first time I finally felt like I was really sailing.

Ironically the wind dropped off as Donald’s kidney bean stew took hold and we were obliged to drop sail and motor south.  I again tried to study my lines, and again the lure of the bunk caused me to pass out until just before dinner,.. I even missed a couple of whale sightings, which could have been either Minke or pilot (from accounts).  I awoke to the hypnotic hum of the motor and the waves lapping at the hull,…. This was what I had been waiting for!!

Dinner was another miracle of culinary excellence as giant meatballs were served up and I prepared for my first 20-00h watch,.. holy crap it’s going to be cold!!!

Even for me I had a lot of layers on and despite taking me 20 mins to get undressed to go to the loo I didn’t get cold at all,.. better safe than sorry, I say!  We had no sails to manage and the wind was minimal so instead we chatted amongst ourselves, ensured the coffee was always on and enjoyed a spectacular sunset, the first of many!

There was a cry out once night truly fell and we could see the bioluminescence as we disturbed the thousands of plankton swimming alongside us!

Invisible sea creatures flashed angrily at us from the deep for disturbing their nocturnal activities!

Towards midnight the wind came up and with it the seas, there were a few green faces, but only a couple were actually sick, even I felt a little queasy at one point, but this soon passed and I slept pretty soundly throughout the night.


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