We left Bristol on our way to Oban on Sunday 2nd August, the rubber duck (Isambard) I have cable tied to the bow shining proudly. A couple of days before we had a visit from the mayor and the boat had been blessed by Major General Padre David Caulter, PhD.
As we left the weather was great and I managed to use the drone to get footage of us sailing under the Clifton Suspension Bridge. We had a surprisingly large number of people seeing us off: two of Barbara’s extensive list of friends who had come to say bye, Francis the photographer who had come on the mayor’s visit, my Mother and little sister Mimi, and Cheryl without whom the trip wouldn’t be happening.
While motoring through the mouth of the Avon, Magnus and David revealed the shift timetable. We were on a 24 hour sail, four hours on eight hours off, I was on from ten till two morning and evening. The first set of shifts passed without event but at six in the evening Constance saw a group of dolphins swimming alongside the boat!
Getting towards the night my dad got sea sick. Then Barbara got seasick. Then an hour before my second watch I got seasick and then later Constance got seasick. I blame this on the fact that during the night the waves got really tall and the wind got stronger, so we had to lower the mainsail. Then during my second shift, amidst all the rocking and vomiting I could make out dark shapes leaping in and out of the water, the Dolphins were still following us!
After my shift I went to my bunk and completely crashed. When I got up at eight in the morning I was told that we were expecting forty knot winds later and as a result were going to cower in a dock in Ireland until we could continue. So here I am, writing this while on my first trip to Ireland and sitting next to a very tempting large box full of chocolate bars. We should be going by tomorrow and I probably won’t get a opportunity to write again until we’re in Oban. If I’ve learnt anything so far it’s that you would much rather be in here wishing you were out there than out there wishing you were in here.