Most people arrived during Monday afternoon- although a few had serious troubles with their flights & their luggage.
We spent the afternoon on safety briefings, harness fittings, & “evacuation” drill. After dinner, many people went ashore to sample the delights of Kristiansand; the town was buzzing with excitement with approximately 80 boats moored all around the port; there are 31 “class A” ships-the big square riggers- this is an extraordinary number for these races. People were most interested in Lord Nelson, with many trying to join us on board. An entertaining exchange of cannon fire between Shtandart (Russia), & Christian Radich (Norway) enlightened the evening which ended with a magnificent firework display keeping us all out of bed until after 11.0pm.
Today, Tuesday, after a very early start, we had climbing practice, handling of sails, trimming sails & other boat drills.
After an early lunch, we set off for the “parade of sail”; the cliffs were lined with spectators, & the water full of boats- the whole of Kristiansand had come out to watch-aggressive big boats, & curious onlookers made for confusion at times, particularly with a Force 5 wind blowing; fortunately our resolute Captain & his crew were able to push Nellie forward to the right place at the start.
Then, at 6.0pm the formal race began, & we were well ahead for a while. Some barging past by Wylde Swan left them briefly only 5 metres from our bow sprit requiring a nifty manoeuvre by Captain Chris.
Now we are on our way to Aalborg with all square sails set; the first weigh point is 42 miles as the crow flies & all being well we should reach there in the morning.
Judith, Hazel & Robin –aft port watch.