The Tenacious voyage crew had settled in by lunchtime and those who fancied it were invited to go aloft while we were still alongside. After a swift fiddle with our harnesses (enjoyed more by some than others!!) those who were keen made it to the lower top sail by shakily clinging to the rigging on the ‘splash’ side. Apart from Jim shredding his knees and bleeding everywhere, there were no other mishaps. Pilot came aboard and off we set out of harbour heading north, into wind, and round the top of Gran Canaria heading for La Palma with prospect of overnight sail and planning to arrive there Thursday morning at 7a.m.
Sun coming out, braced the yards and set sails: course and low topsail and inner jib and midships staysail. In process of which dolphins were spotted nearby, and watches started.
Brilliant dinner as usual, sun set around 7 ish, clear skies and amazing bright Venus alone in the sky. Gradually the rest of the stars emerged and around 9.40 the moon appeared, fairly full, changing the light all around us; at first giving a golden glow over the sea and ship, but soon a monochromatic, almost silver and black, spooky stillness crept over the ship. Most of the time we just managed to make 3 knots.
It was a magnificent night with the stars bright and clear in the sky, Venus disappeared around 10.30, and then a few clouds appeared.
The night went smoothly, breakfast as usual, not many seasick casualties fortunately. In the morning, the wind dropped so we took down the course and put up the rest of the square sails. Then on to ‘happy hour’ scrubbing the decks and heads. No mishaps. A wonderful hot sunny day passing north of Tenerife with magnificent views of the island with the volcanic crater covered with snow at the top and a horizontal layer of mist below, quite a Japanese sight!