Day1: After an early start for some on Sunday, the team finally came together at Gatwick for our flight out to, hopefully sunny, Palma. The team boarded the most packed out easyjet flight, leaving the UK, and Mickey and Alice were lucky enough to get the last row ‘window’ seats which were suspiciously un-window like. Once the flight was over the island of Mallorca we saw the perfect flat seas and sunny weather, excellent. Obviously it was raining by the time the plane landed 5min later and we had seemingly brought the English weather with us. A 3 taxi convoy took us to the the Real Club Nautica Palma where, in the rain, we met Jerry our skipper and importantly laid eyes on Kukri. Bed space ruelette occurred to sort out bunk space and a a game of snorer avoidance began. The evening approached, the rain stopped, and we decided to venture into the old part of town lying in the shadow of a beautiful cathedral for a crew meal after a long day of travelling and yacht admin.
Day 2: Yacht familiarisation for the novices was the main aim of this day. We had a proper introduction to kukri whilst others set out for shopping trip uno. The novices: Matt, Oscar, Mike, Derrick along with a refreshers for Alice and Kayley were given instruction on how to take up and take down sails and winching. Shopping trip dos had to go out to get more food and the all important PG tips. As Mike Rustled up a chili for the evening meal we prepared for cast off a la mañana.
Day 3: After a quick breakfast we got kitted out and did a dry run through. We had some lunch and then did some bumps and grinds, man over board drills, coming along side drills including a med mooring (a first for some). After a last supper and early night all crew were up at first light in order to quickly prepare the boat for our first two-day passage to Sardinia.
Days 4-6: Go sailing they said, it’ll be easy they said. Kukri left Mallorca with high hopes and sense of adventure. We left port with a single reef in the main and jib 1 flying. A steady swell was whipped up by a strong NW wind which set us on a due East course to Sardinia. The dream rapidly fell apart. Sea sickness took over and almost everyone turned green. The wind was a steady 6 and sea state 3/4. Stb’d watch began the transit with each member having a lesson in taking the helm which was a chance to delay another sick episode. Stb’d watch put another reef in the main which was a small respite to the seasickness The hand over to Port watch as the weather deteriorated became somewhat emotional. Port watch were tasked with taking the jib1 down and raising jib2. Clipped in and in horrendous conditions the task was completed, each member plus help from Stb’d watch were drenched by continuous bow waves and many were covered in each other’s sick for good measure. However Kayley’s morale improved when she sighted a single dolphin off the port beam.
The night passed, the weather did not. Not much sleep was had by either watch from sickness or being flung about the cabin due to the swell, which built steadily, as did the wind strength – which became a steady Force 8, with gust of Force 9. One member of the team appeared to take the brunt of the sickness after vomiting into their scarf, the kitchen sink and then spectacularly breaking the toilet seat. As day 5 dawned Mike baked some superb chocolate cake which was about the first solid food food most of the ships company had eaten in a day. Fortunately weather calmed, the crew gained their sea legs and the sun came out. The swell increased but became more of a rolling state than the previous choppyness. A floating tree caused a minor panic but the steady helm of Stew avoided it. A relatively peaceful night ensued and an early arrival to Carloforte with bacon butties picked up morale. In total 9 of the 11 crew were ill and three life jacked were autoinflated by side on waves entering the cockpit. A baptism of fire for the new crew!
During the morning at Carloforte Marina, the local winds continued to build and, as a result, the crew took a well earned rest for the rest of the day.