We did it!! or "Our first Leg"
06 November 2010 | Lefkas to Palma
Yeeehaaaa! We made it!! We can sail. Pegasus can float. The kids can find their sea legs. And all the other concerns I may have had before we left have been dispelled in a wonderful 8 day sail across the Med. Don't ask about the bit before we set sail - the stress of getting ready for the off/ customs - (don't know why I bothered - it's a story within itself but luckily it's now out of my mind) misplacing Mark's passport / connecting the nav lights five minutes before we leave. All that is out of my mind and I will concentrate on the first leg of our journey.
We left Lefkas just before 2pm so we could pass through the bridge on the hour. Didn't get the chance to say goodbye and thank you to everyone we wanted to, especially Kevan, Mark and Sharkey and everyone else who helped us on our boat before we left (what a friendly marina!), but in the end we just had to go or we were at risk of getting marina rot! Waving us off were Milly and Will who had been wonderful friends for Mia and Lochy in the week before we left, their parents, and Carol of Wild Bird and I felt strangely emotional; I suppose not surprising as we had been in Lefkas for 8 weeks.
Through the bridge and everyone is excited. Half an hour into being in the open sea and Mia gets seasick - as I expected. Lochy did too. I didn't see that one coming which would explain why I was clearing up projectile vomit in the cabin an hour into the trip, whilst Mia was being sick neatly into the bucket. Two hours into the trip and one of the engines makes a very funny noise as though a bag has wrapped around its propellor. A bag has wrapped around its propellor. Mark gets into the dinghy in an attempt to clear it with a stick, but it's clear that someone has to go in. Phill isn't offering (and why should he as it's not his boat?!!). So Mark strips to his boxers and snorkel and mask and goes in to unwrap the offending item. I am so proud of him. Diving under a boat in the ocean isn't on his list of top 10 things to do. I would be shouting words of encouragement to him only by this time I am chucking up into a bucket and I don't even get sea sick!
But then the kids fall asleep though general excitement/ exhaustion / seasickness and I feel better and Phill, Mark and I get into a routine of a watch system. I really did get the easy part. Phill and Mark did 3 hours on 3 hours off through the night and I came on at 7am to do mother watch - basically allow the guys to sleep and getting food ready.
Before you report me to social services, can I say that the kids found their sea legs very quickly. Lochy the next day and Mia a bit longer as we then went though a bit of a rough 48 hours of force 7/8. We were really pleased that Pegasus saw us through with no bother at all - she made us feel very safe and solid - though we had to get used to being slapped between the hulls with waves - something monohulls wouldn't know about!
Mia soon learnt that being outside on the helm was the best place to be and both she and Lochy were happy to wear their harness and lifelines to keep safe. When the swell was particularly large (about 3 metres?) Mia was singing "I can ride my boat with no handlebars" and we were surfing down the waves with our hands in the air.
Highlights of this passage:
1)Two little sparrows landing on the boat (and one on my head!!) and coming into the cabin to shelter - we called them Milly and Will!
2)Amazing nightskies. The kids would wake up at about 7am and it would still be dark so we would all huddle outside and look at the constellations and see shooting stars. There was also phosphorescence off the stern of the boat - glowing algae. So on bonfire night we had shooting stars, phosphorescence, and a lightening storm in the distance so we had the fireworks covered!
Wonderful sunrises and sunsets and a moonrise.
3)Dolphins on four of our 8 days, sometimes for half an hour at a time. We would lie on the trampoline and watch them dance on our bow.
4)On day 5 of our trip when I was beginning to wonder what to cook, Lochy asked if he could fish, we put out a lure (Thanks Tom of Monstertackle.com!!!!)at 11am and by 6pm had caught a gigantic yellow finned tuna - no idea how much it weighed but it was 90cm long!!! Mark cut it up with a hacksaw into 14 thick steaks which I vacuum sealed immediately and we've been eating ever since!!! We even recovered Lochy's lucky lure but wouldn't let him put it in again!!!
5)baking the best loaf of bread I have ever made and mark baking fantastic shortbread
So that is pretty much it!! Phill was great in whipping us into shape and getting the boat ready; in giving us confidence to make us realise we CAN do this. Although Mark bought her into Palma this morning, it was still great to have Phill guiding us and reassuring us and tutoring us as we went, even doing a man overboard practise on a fender and bucket whilst in the middle of the Med.
I am on such a high. So proud of us as a family. So proud of the kids settling so easily into a routine of life at sea. Reassured to know that I could have kept going for another 3 weeks if I had to (but I know Phill's wife and kids wouldn't have been too happy with us if we had!!) It feels quite surreal actually as Phill left for the airport within an hour of us arriving and it's back to just us, the Jackson Four. He's told us we should buy some more of those paper things that have pretty pictures of the sea and land - charts, I think they're called. We didn't have any when he arrived and I suppose they were quite useful!!
So, a few days in Palma with a huge list of things we need to do but some can wait til we get to Gibralter. Tuna for dinner I think. Night all. Love Catherine xxx