Starblazer has started her adventure

First of all, introductions are in order. Starblazer is a 20 year old Hallberg Rassy 42F, owned by John and Joyce Easteal. We completed an Atlantic circuit in 2009/10 in our much loved Westerly Corsair. We enjoyed it so much we set out to buy a bigger boat within months of returning home. Now we have arrived in Plymouth for the start of a four year adventure. We left Hardway Sailing Club an hour later than planned, refuelled then passed through Portsmouth harbour entrance at 1330. We hadn't heard the gale warning...oops! We had intended to overnight in Yarmouth but that was where the wind was coming from so we diverted to Cowes. Folly Reach is well sheltered but shallow, we stuck in the mud or an hour...oops again! Saturday morning was lovely, sunny but chilly with a gentle wind. We ghosted towards Hurst point, helped along by the tide, but had to revert to engine to avoid the Lymington toYarmouth ferry and motorsailed most of the way across Poole Bay. The wind came up, unhelpfully from the Plymouth direction, so we practised tacking the rest of the way. Tacking out of Weymouth Bay, giving safe clearance from the over falls around Portland Bill, the tide turned against us. The next 6 hours saw us claw very few miles towards our destination however the tide eventually turned in our favour and we made progress across Lyme Bay. Sunday morning was sunny but very chilly. The wind went variable and very light so the engine went on again. The major 'excitement' was navigating through a racing fleet who were drifting against the tide under spinnakers in less than 10 knots of wind! We arrived in Plymouth just after noon and are now safely tied up in Mayflower Marina. ARC Portugal starts from here next Sunday. We arrived early so that our son and daughter-in-law could visit us on a flying visit while they are in the UK for a wedding. The next blog will probably be just before we leave Plymouth on Saturday. More later. Joyce

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