Out of the rally

by 6 Comments

By now it’s obvious finally my darling is sadly out of the rally. In fact, we’ve tracked backwards and are further from our final destination! As previously reported, the head was torn out of our original Lagoon mainsail when gybing in strong winds off the bottom of La Palma (with two reefs in the main and no foresail). In the Canaries, areas to the south and between islands suffer from funnelling or wind acceleration, as was encountered last Thursday.

Our Atlantic departure was the accumulation of months of planning and preparation, plus carefully timing our travels through the Med and beyond to arrive in La Palma for Christmas. We were devastated that it all came to an abrupt end so soon after the start. Though the sail was suffering from previously undetected UV damage and it’s best it happened close to land than days into our passage.

Earlier this week we motorsailed back to Tenerife and are currently based in San Miguel Marina to the south. After a flurry of research and emailing to contacts around Europe in search of a new or replacement sail, Col and Doug flew to the UK and we now have a brand new mainsail on order from Crusader Sails. The sail will be couriered to Tenerife by the last week of January. We anticipate departing on our second crossing attempt around January 26th (Australia Day) – precisely the time we were originally aiming to arrive in Martinique!

We’ve been following the Atlantic Odyssey II progress closely and are thinking of the crews constantly. The trade winds are steaming through the area, though we hope the heavy seas are not making conditions too uncomfortable. We are so incredibly proud of everyone and are going to miss the camaraderie and celebration of this wondrous achievement when the boats make landfall. (Almost half way guys!!) Instead we will go it alone and hope that February Atlantic weather is kind to us. We’ll be sure to send an update closer to our departure. Thanks to the Cornell Sailing team our passage will still be tracked on the rally website.

Many thanks for your messages and well wishes this past week, they’re most appreciated. Plus a heartfelt thanks to our wonderful team mates Doug and William Gardiner. We couldn’t do this trip without them and are so grateful they are able to stay with us despite the delay.

PHOTO CREDIT: Atlantic Odyssey II rally start, captured by Pascal of Cornell Sailing.

Atlantic Odyssey II rally start (credit- Cornell Sailing)-2Atlantic Odyssey II rally start (credit- Cornell Sailing)



  1. Steve Dunleavy says

    Hope All goes well with the Acquisition of a new Main Sail, and You guys can get under way Soon.
    All the Best, Fair Winds and Following Seas 🙂

    • Brooke says

      Many thanks Steve! Dad was very lucky to secure a free gap on the production floor at a reputable UK sail maker. So whilst we’ve been very patient and are SO KEEN to get back out there, we acknowledge 2.5 – 3 weeks turnaround on a brand new sail is a very good outcome. Fingers crossed will be on our way mid next week (approx Jan 27 – 28). The trade winds seem to be easing, so hopefully a comfortable sail for our brilliant downwind Parasailor. Thanks again for your well wishes 🙂

  2. Denis says

    Sorry to hear about the main. But from our experience we know that mainsail is not really necessary to cross the Atlantic with the trades – Parasailor with light and moderate winds and genoa for heavy winds is all you really need. Hope you guys have a great crossing after all!

    • Brooke says

      Hi Denis thanks for getting in touch. We cannot wait to get off the dock – it has been a very patient three weeks here in Tenerife! Yes we have heard the same. Although we don’t have a large, heavy genoa; only a smaller stay-sail per say. And the Odyssey fleet experienced very strong winds for the half of their passage (25 – 35 knots average, with gusts often to 40, as high as 50 knots). Another boat with a Parasailor broke their halyard about day 4 and were very much missing the Parasailor during lighter winds in those last few days. So had we continued without a mainsail we will likely have been stuffed without a big genoa, and also unable to fly the Parasailor until winds eased. Anyhoo – the winds are looking light for next week – we must see what February brings. Hope you had a great trip over and are enjoying the Caribbean. Is there a chance we’ll catch up for a rum punch or two? Captain Col says hello! Stay in touch 🙂

    • Brooke says

      I know right?? It’s rare to get a sweet photo under sail. Will treasure those excited moments at the start of the rally when we were finally on our way… only to be abruptly halted a few hours down the track!! Kisses xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *