Location: 02*47,122N. 79*33,66E

The day had finally arrived when we could break free the manacles of land and cross an ocean. It is fair to say that everyone on board was ready to get underway and looking forward to the passage. After a late start, the night previous dawn found Vela making her way southeast under the engine and the main staysail. The conditions just off the coast of South Male proved to be less than ideal, with swell reflecting back off the atoll to make a confused sea state. We headed further offshore to lessen the motion and at lunchtime raised the mainsail and foremast staysail. Vela was much happier to spread her wings, and with the engine off, we could feel the life of the boat under our feet.


The crew was still adjusting to the new routine of life on passage and their first-class underway when the first of two squalls hit. With shipmates down below, staff guided the ship through 30 mins of 40+ knots and heavy rain. The deck freshly cleaned dinner had just finished when another squall passed through. Again everyone hurried below, dogging the hatches and making everything fast. Special mention must be made of Bee, who, despite being seasick most of the first day, never complained or stopped smiling. Overall I don’t think any captain could have asked for more from their crew on the first day at sea.


1. another stunning sunset

2. Gillian taking in the view from the bow