I'm off. I left Cowes this morning at 4.

I'm off.
I left Cowes this morning at 4.15 and two hours later i'm clearing the Needles.
The tide is with me and we're moving very fast in a brisk 25 knots of wind. The wind is set to increase later so i'm not sure if i'll stop go dartmouth or press on, we'll see.
Well, finally we're off.

Ready to go

I spent the weekend doing the last few odd jobs on the boat and had a chance to go out and take a few picures in the Solent, at 30+ knots I had 3 reefs in the main and the number 4 rather than a nice colourful kite but it was a nice chance to check that all the heavy weather gear was in order before setting off for the bluQube Solo 1000... Wednesday I'll leave Cowes heading for Mylor and I'm feeling ready to go.


British Beagle

Glorious sunshine for final push to Uruguay

We have just over 400 miles to go to the finish line in Punta del Este,
the permanent cloud cover of the past few days has broken up during the
night and i stood my watch in the cockpit as a magnificent sunrise brought
summer to our world. Since we left the icy weather of the high latitudes
it has been remarkable to watch the temperature rise very fast as we
sailed north. Water temperature is now at nearly 20 degrees and today I'm
sure we can get rid of all our base and mid layers and finally sport some
shorts and t-shirts. It is amazing in just few days to go from a coastline
of snow capped cliffs in Tierra del Fuego to a beautiful summer day, i'm
sure on land it must be very very hot.

Apart from this magnificent day we cant say we have been particularly
lucky with the winds, first we had lots of headwinds and now that the wind
has come round we are in lightish airs without our masthead spinnaker
trying to the best we can and creep forward a mile at a time toward this
holy image of a proper rare south american steak and the holiest of holy
grails, a pint of beer.

The job list in punta is not dramatic, sailing a little more
conservatively than in previous legs paid off, we have the A2 spinnaker to
repair, a faulty wind instrument, some minor wear and tear repairs to
mainsail, staysail and code zero, some haliards to replace, and other
maintenance jobs but considering this was the mother of all legs I am
happy we didnt trash the boat and i really need to thank those who have
sent further donations to the racing funds through
www.marconannini.com/help which definitely help easing the pain.

We expect to finish on sunday, exactly 5 weeks since we left Wellington.
The anticipation is high, i really really want to get there but whilst we
are sailing I may as well enjoy the nice weather, it is time for a shower
on deck, some clean pants, a shave and all the things that can make me
feel human again after all that time in the south.