With just a few hours to the start of the ARC British team from Northern Child sent their first log 26/11/06

It’s a hive of activity this morning in Las Palmas as ARC crews from the 226 yachts make final preparations for their 2,600nm Atlantic crossing which starts later today.

The forecast is for a north-easterly winds of between 10-15 knots, increasing to 15-20 knots in the next 48hours.

Julian from the British Swan 51 Northern Child sent yachtingworld.com the first of his daily logs as the crew countsdown to today’s start?

Sunday morning and we are ready for the off. Northern Child is sitting in the early morning sun stern to on her berth in the marina in Las Palmas. As we look out to sea, the horizon is pretty calm and there is hardly a cloud in the sky, fantastic!

Having arrived in Las Palmas three weeks ago, the crew on board have been working hard to prepare Northern Child for her 11th Atlantic crossing under my command. We stowed away the last of the fresh fruit and vegetables yesterday afternoon, had our last showers and headed into town for our last supper. Fireworks at midnight over the port of Las Palmas celebrated our imminent departure and announced the end of our stay here; our next task, over 2,700 miles to our next landfall, St Lucia!

The crew on board is as varied as ever with a good range of experience – some are qualified skippers and boat owners in their own right, whilst others are less experienced with little offshore sailing or spinnaker work, but I am confident that the crew will quickly learn and gel into a cohesive unit.

We will take the start at 1300 hours today – 225 boats massing on a mile long start line; it is more like a stampede rather than an orderly start! We then set off to the south, leaving the Island of Gran Canaria to Starboard, our right hand side, and then set off to the west. The trick for the next couple of weeks will be to decide the best route, which will constantly be adjusted as the winds change.

Our objective is to sail the Atlantic and to have fun – follow these daily logs and you’ll see if we have achieved our objective! More tomorrow.