13 yachts have now reached Horta from the ARC Europe fleet – each with their own varying tales from the ocean passage from Bermuda. With a rhumb line distance of some 1800nm, the fleet have experienced a wide range of weather, reflected in the stories shared at the first sundowner at Peter’s Café Sport on Monday.
With José keeping the gin and tonics topped up, it was interesting to listen to the ocean stories; skippers reporting some beastly storms and gusts one day, to dead calms the next. “It was some of the best light airs sailing we have ever done!” the Chatfields on Mad Monkey reported. Having recently completed a circumnavigation with World ARC, ARC Europe is proving to be a great swan song for the family.
At the other end of the scale, another skipper did bemoan that the calms left them “calculating the fuel usage and miles to go for days…” as they edged closer to the Azores.
What was nice to hear as the assembled crews enjoyed some Azorean hospitality was their pleasure with being reunited with Rally Control – the friendly faces that have welcomed the fleet into each port. Sailing in his first WCC Juan Pablo on Carolina said “I’ve already booked ARC 2020 because you guys work so hard for us and make everything so great.”
Away from Peter’s Café Sport, there is a little bit of hustle and bustle as the participants begin to make the minor repairs needed, realising that actually they are more than halfway across the Atlantic since their crossing began in Nanny Cay just over three weeks ago. Arriving in Horta, a place with such a prominence for ocean sailors, crews feel rightly proud to join generations of seafarers that have gone before them to reach the Azores. It’s no wonder many will now join the tradition leaving their mark on the colourful marina walls which bear the painted emblems of hundreds of visitors past.
This week, the social programme continues with an evening at the Canto da Doca restaurant tonight where you are given a fantastic range of fish and meats to cook on your own volcanic hot rock. Coinciding with a birthday celebration for David on Oyster Blew it's sure to be another great night enjoying a little rally camaraderie!