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.