Well it seems fitting that Maiden continued her World Tour exactly two years to the day that we managed to buy Maiden after two years of fundraising!
On Friday 23rd November my daughter, Mack and I drove to Plymouth to catch up with Skipper Nikki Henderson and the crew. The three guest crew had just spent their first night on Maiden and it was just a tad chilly as we have no heater. Volvo veteran Sara Hastreiter, cruising sailor Juliia Kramerenko and Army Engineer Rachel Beszant were busy helping the crew with last minute jobs and checks.
The day before, Nikki and the crew had carried out a second day of drills and checks and were happy with the performance of Maiden and team. Now, it was all hands on deck to catch the weather window on Saturday 24th November (yesterday) which is when Maiden slipped her lines and headed out of Plymouth Sound. It was a grey and wet day with a gentle breeze in stark contrast to the horrendous weather they had endured to get from Hamble to Plymouth two weeks ago.
A bit of breakfast before leaving
Final crew briefing from Skipper Nikki Henderson
Tilly readying the lines
And off they go…………
The weather has switched completely and overnight the crew had to motor to keep to the schedule set by weather routers, Commanders, and get south as quickly as possible. They crossed the channel and in the grey light of dawn were past Ushant and are now well into the Bay of Biscay. Maiden is racing a front to get to the Gibraltar Straits but may have to pull into Vigo if the predicted wind and sea state close in too quickly. However, the wind should fill in as the day develops allowing Maiden to gather speed and get past Finisterre in good time.
Skipper and crew are all well and delighted to be on their way! After some technical issues we hope to have tracking up on the website and App in the next few days so you will be able to see where Maiden is.