This is our first blog of the voyage,  Guardian of the Blog, the Medical Purser, Ronan, has been quite busy – on top of keeping us happy during Happy Hour.

Currently he is the hero and deals with our medical problems ever so well.

We are now under full sail, with the wind southerly, having passed through the straits of Messina and left Stromboli to starboard: we saw the glow of lava in the night. This is in fact our second volcano. We reached Riposto from Malta a tad tardily, owing to steering problems in Malta, but had a good time being bussed up Etna, walking to the crater, spending too much on souvenirs, and then bussing back for dinner in town. Etna kindly obliged with a modest glow as we turned in.

The next day the wind was light and northerly, so we motored to the straits of Messina. Now as we take over on Day 6, we are out of sight of land, and the sky is overcast, but at least it isn’t raining. We have had plenty of opportunity on this voyage for learning all about the rigging of our ship from Ali the Mate, who explains things very clearly. When we were stuck in port we had one sail training session, and this morning another: we should all now know our buntlines from our clewlines, and our staysails from our spankers. We look forward to practising our knots when we come off watch later this afternoon.

We are thinking of Sophie, who wasn’t well on Day 3.

Lots of love from us all: we miss you!

Mandy, Ken, Roger, Julian, Heather and Murray, Aft Port Watch.