Arkyla - 11 Jun 22: Ready to go
The time is nearly upon us for the start. Over the last few days skipper James has been eyeing up the weather, racer-boy Rich has been eyeing up the opposition, charmer Mark has been eying up the totty, and motorboater Mike has mostly been eyeing up the chocolate rations! A quiet evening is planned for tonight after yesterday’s day sail around the Hoe and impromptu attempt to drink Jolly Jacks dry after the Rally welcome dinner; we will be as fresh for the Biscay leg as our combined 227 years of creaking bones will allow… James Kenning . read more...
Arkyla - 22-24 Jun 22 – Bayona to Povoa de Vazim... feeling 'international'!
Captain’s log: Allegedly “a gentleman never sails to windward” so, with a certificate signed by HM the Queen to testify I was once both officer and said gentle person, I was very pleased with the Rally decision to delay the push south by 24 hours. However, even with the wind blowing from the north, all was not well as, when we fired up the mighty Yanmar to head to Wednesday’s start line, Arkyla’s over-charging issue reared its ugly head again. Trying to keep revs as low as possible so we wouldn’t cook all the electronics, we watched somewhat frustrated as the fleet charged off in the near calm leaving us with a splendid view of a score of sterns departing Bayona! Once out of the Bay however the wind filled a little and we set the twin headsails to head south to Portugal. The. read more...
Arkyla - 19 June 22 – Normality returns
That’s it… the last of my delivery crew have jumped (been firmly shoved off) ship, and Jenny has successfully navigated all UK airport chaos to join the boat at 0230 this morning.Arkyla has her standard 2-up crew again!Much like the weather, life onboard has also moderated with the return of the feminine touch to the boat; sudden squalls of flatulence, long swells of crude humour, and kidney-killing nights of madness are hopefully now distant storms in our wake!I’ll miss those boys (cantankerous old men) though and send them a massive vote of thanks – it was a real blast, and I couldn’t have made the crossing without them, but it’s definitely time to settle into chill mode!So here we go… we’re looking forward to getting to know all the ARC P crews a bit better now as we head south to the. read more...
Arkyla - 12-16 June 22 – Biscay Crossing (is that all you can throw at us Poseidon?)
Sunday morning and my crew is, if not well-oiled, at least sufficiently tarred and feathered!We fire up the iron mainsail and head to the start line with morale at an initial 100%.On the gun, we head for outside the Ushant TSS; somewhat annoyingly the Eddystone is in our way and we are forced to drop east and watch Falcon smugly point higher to the west… but our battle is not yet over with this 2-handed band of blue-hulled pirates!In a few hours the fleet is splitting either ‘inside’ or ‘outside’; we go west tracking Sea Crusader hoping to outwit our nemesis Kite Runner who has stubbornly maintained a mile‘s gap ahead of us all day.By 0400 we are clear of the TSS and heading south.I turn on the engine to charge batteries to be somewhat panicked at the ensuing alarms from chart plotters,. read more...
Arkyla - 8 Jun 22: Prologue
Finally, after two years of COVID delays, our ARC Portugal moment has arrived. Arkyla has been in Mayflower Marina since we splashed her in early April, and (almost) all works and snagging have been completed ready for the off – she is a boat with a mission!The wife, 1st Mate Jenny, will not be on the first leg; reluctant to abandon our ageing cats for too long, she will join the boat in sunny Bayona - conveniently after the slog of the Biscay crossing! As such I had to scour my list of friends to recruit a fun, enthusiastic, and professional team of seasoned mariners with whom I’m happy to share 45’ of confinement for 4-5 days… obviously an ask too far, I’ve settled for a motley mix of old university rugby and RAF mates. Arkyla is, for the coming week, a boat of. read more...