Despite getting up early we discovered that we were probably not going to be leaving, due to a couple of reasons. A fellow yachtie we bumped into in the showers warned us of Force 9-10s and 9 metre waves. This didn’t really phase us since Vincent was a grand yacht master (though I don’t know anyone who would want to see him put to the test in those kind of conditions) and the rest of us actually wanted to see 9 metre waves! (How foolish!) The second reason for not leaving today was that the marina bill had not been paid and we were waiting for Peter in the UK to settle the account via his bank. This didn’t go down too well with the Chuckle Brothers who had rushed to get to Cascais last week thinking they would be sailing within a couple of days. The mood dropped and we were all starting to get despondent. I’d never been on a cat and I was intrigued to see how it would handle. Also this was my passage to the Canaries, a place I should have been in some time ago, so I was desperate to get there!
Instead Tim and I wandered into town to kill some time. No sooner had we got there Dave and Johnny came running after us with the good news that all paper work had been finalised and that we were to leave as soon as! A quick check at passport control, a motor out into the bay and within 10 minutes the sails were up!
With favourable conditions Brigand can shoot through the water. The wind was coming from behind and when we hit 8 knots we were cruising with grins on our faces. But eight knots was a slow wander to Brigand. She continued to accelerate to 9, 10, 11 then 12 knots. In fact for the remainder of the afternoon we averaged around 12 to 13 knots, sometimes hitting 15. I took prime position on the trampoline at the front of the boat, lay on my back and listened to the sound of the hulls slicing though the sea with the water whipping past.
As the evening drew in we devised a watch system, with me partnering up with Johnny and Tim with Dave. Vincent took on one hour between our three hours but as we were soon to discover we needed Vincent more than once every four hours. We’d been keeping an eye on the weather and the predicted northerly had held us in good stead to make decent progress. On our first watch, from 8-11pm with night time drawn in, we were able to see the warm front behind us. When I say ‘see’ I mean we could actually see the warm front. I wish I was a scientist because then I could explain the very peculiar red hue to the sky. Imagine a late red sunset, or a sunrise behind a cloud. If you’d just woken up you’d be forgiven for thinking it was exactly that but the warm front was in the east the sun had set three hours ago in the west, so this truly was a natural phenomenon to be seen. Quite amazing.
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