Today heralds the start of the first race in the Historical Seas Regatta - Volos to Varna inBulgaria. After a peaceful night's anchorage we woke to blue skies and sun (sorry all in UK) within view of the pretty Greek village of Platania. PC & BM's weighed anchor immediately just before. Our start time for the race was 1000, as we arrived in the start area we were able to enjoy not only a pod of dolphins feeding nearby but also the sight of so many Tall Ships patiently waiting for orders from the race commitee; Mir and Dar Mlodziezy, the two biggest ships here, Dewaruci from Indonesia, Germany's Alexander Von Humbolt with her distinctive green sails, the beautiful sleek lines of the Turkish schooner Bodrum and the small but beautifully formed Ketch Maybe. Floating on the breeze we could also hear the Pipers on the Omani Navy's Barquentine Shabab Oman gearing themselves up for the race.
Due to light and constantly shifting winds the race start was put back to 1200hr, so time for our 1st mate to give us a very informative talk on tacking and wearing, skills no doubt we will need in order to keep up with the changing winds. Before lunch the sails were made ready, lines loosened, poised for the off, then came further orders the start was now 1400hr,time for a little sunbathing. Anticipation was building, positions maintained, and then we were off!
We were the third ship over the line, though the first two crossed before the start! Once away, under almost every sail, we headed across the gulf towards the coast a few miles away. Fortunately, the wind backed and we had some good sailing during the evening. We rounded the first mark just before and increased speed to over 9 knots for a while before slowing down again. This morning, we have heard we are 4th in class and 10th overall, but there is still some way to go and Alexander von Humbolt who's 3rd in class has a time penalty to come from crossing the line before the start, so....