Food, glorious food, plus Covid19 PCR testing begins for all crews

18 November 2020

Today saw 166 participants head to Vithas Clinic, close to the marina, for their required PCR test as part of the pre-departure protocols in place this year. Every crew member had been allocated an appointment by the ARC office and the remaining crews will complete their test tomorrow. The process, with the help of ARC yellowshirts, ran very smoothly with the cooperation of all crews who were then required to return to their yachts and stay on board until the test results are known tomorrow. Thank you to all.

There is a hive of activity around the docks of Las Palmas marina today as local suppliers deliver food and drinks direct to ARC boats on the pontoons and crews prepare for their start on Sunday. Provisioning for such a crossing is made much easier having built up good recommended suppliers over the years, such as Ditribuciones Tinamar for fruit and vegetables, Ahembo for drinks and JP Butchers for meats/deli products. For many, it is probably the first time they have had to think about planning menus for such a long passage and also to work out how and where to store it all on board. Thankfully the comprehensive ARC Skipper’s Handbook and provisioning seminar, held online this year, gives plenty of useful information and tips to help with this huge task.

The young team on board Chloe Need’s Salona 44 Moonflower 3 are all under 30 years old. En route to the Canary Islands they were already planning what provisions they would need for the crossing. “On the delivery from Croatia to the Canaries we ate well and meals have been a lot of fresh and experimental dishes, from ramen to stuffed peppers, beetroot salad to enchiladas. We also made some crew favourites; from simple chocolate mousse, to skipper Chloe’s drunken apple cake! We might want to think about what we need if we catch some more fish. For an Atlantic crossing things will be a little different with a lot of dried or tinned produce. Having a menu plan and group meals really makes a difference, keeping things varied also means everyone is still excited for meal times!”

“It’s also important to consider what you can cook in bad weather; maybe a simple pasta pesto; what you can make with leftovers, maybe a frittata would go down well, and trying to prep a couple of different meals during a calm spell (lots of Tupperware!) and how long they will keep. Staying healthy is key to crew morale, making sure everyone gets enough calories in them to keep energy levels up, and keeping everyone going is one of the most important aspects of a long trip like this,” they say on the boat’s Instagram blog #moonflower3.

After buying her new floating home last March in Croatia, Covid19 came into play, so Chole decided the best thing would be to sail over to the Caribbean with the ARC. Joining her on board for this great adventure is professional travel and music film maker, Jake Usman and director, Alex Felstead, whose first documentary is up for an award. Although they usually work with some of the world’s biggest bands to produce video, their new travel series has been a great hit and they will be making a documentary about their sailing travels with the ARC on board Moonflower3 as a group of friends. We shall look forward to seeing that.

Crew members, Alex, James and Jake have not sailed offshore before, but will be in good hands as their four female crew mates have plenty of experience, with three RYA Yachtmaster qualifications between them and owner Chloe, who runs her company, Sailing Escapes is also a cruising instructor.

The sun continues to shine in Las Palmas as start day approaches and with each day the jobs list onboard is getting smaller for most. The three boats still to arrive are making good progress towards the Canary Islands, with the ARC team supporting them for a quick turnaround to make the start.

 With only a few days until departure, the attention is now turning towards thinking about routeing and weather for the crossing to Saint Lucia. Tomorrow, ARC weatherman Chris Tibbs will be online as part of the continuing ARC seminar programme, giving his expert routeing advice and weather outlook. World Cruising Club’s Andrew Bishop will also host a live briefing for invited ARC SSB Net Controllers, and skippers begin the formal check out procedure by taking passports of all those on board to the Frontier Police in the marina office.