There comes a final moment, when all of the food, fuel and water is aboard, the boat is ready to go and the goodbyes have been said. All the planning, scrutiny of the weather and last minute checks have been carried out, and there’s no excuse to linger a second longer.
It’s a delicious, calm, sober moment – the taking of the first step. And when it comes, we like to go quietly, without any fanfare and when no-one is looking if possible – it’s a very private pleasure. And so it was as we cast off from the fuel berth at Mindelo Marina, and set off to cross the Atlantic on the 20th of December.
We wouldn’t be following the celebrated trade wind route to the Caribbean with most of our British compatriots, as (as usual) we were following the French route to Brazil with a smattering of Dutch yachts and others.