Skyelark of London - ARC Finish
It was nice to have a daylight arrival for a change!Team Skyelark crossed the finish line at around 7 am local time - we had boatsin sight ahead and behind and the last evening at sea was spent trying toimprove and maintain our position. There was some suspicion amongst the crewthat Kitty was letting out sail to speed up, and Steve was sailing extra milesin order to sway the arrival time for our ETA competition - the coveted prize helming Skyelark across the finishline. The winner was Kitty whose estimate came within a recordbreaking 15 mins! We crossed the line in fine style, slightly overpowered with all sailsblazing, a fridge full of cold beers and a frittata in the oven. Smiles allaround, and a great sense ofachievement as we were welcomed into the marina and handed. read more...
Skyelark of London
As previously reported, Gremlins have beset Skyelark inthe form of a non functioning Autopilot, however from the crews perspectiveworse was to come when, we were faced with telling the skipper, that yet again,the the heads had become blocked [that is the toilet for the non seafaring typesamongst you].This was a thorny subject as he was already beset withseveral other maintenance issues, on top of his normal work load of running theship, however he said he would look into it, so to speak. Several hours later the crew felt it was about timepolitely check on progress. When asked how he was getting on, the skipperreplied, that despite hours of investigative work into the problems, he stilldidn’t really have anything to go on......! Oh dear I think we’ve all been at sea toolong! Eta Early. read more...
Skyelark of London - The Atlantic Still Has a Few Lessons
After a brochure perfect day, with clear skies andbluest white tipped water, the crew entered the evening, beginning to make plansfor our steps onshore in a few days. We were first chastened by the failure of the autopilot in the evening,leading to focused conversation free half hour shifts of hand steering downwindwith moderate winds of around 20 knots, but large swells coming from severaldirections. Our skippers eased ouranxieties with a change in sail plan, dropping the main and sailing effectivelyunder only the headsail, decreasing our risk of gybing. Crew on watch regrouped until they weremet with the next challenge, facing our strongest squall so far (and hopefullyat all). Milder squalls continuedfor several hours, with crew managing with gradually. read more...
Skyelark of London - Squalls
We have had interesting overnight watches again withsqualls and associated moderate winds. Each watch was challenged with at least an hour of heavy rain and theopportunity to reset the sails to the conditions making the time on deck goquickly and giving us all an excellent offshore sailing experience. Sighted a large freighter this morning,on its way to South America. Thiswas our first encounter with commercial shipping since we left the area nearcoastal Africa between Las Palmas and Cape Verde. Big ships leave quite the impression aswe have not been exposed to the modern world in many days. The crew conducted a gybe this morning(like a tack but with the wind coming from behind the boat) , this manoeuvrerequires the entire team working together to reorient. read more...