This year’s ARC crossing was always going to be a special adventure for the fleet of ARC+ and ARC 2020.
As part of the benefits of sailing with the ARC, crews have the opportunity to post daily logs on the World Cruising Website giving a little insight into their lives on board. Provided with a unique email address, each boat can post pictures and updates from mid-Atlantic using their at-sea email communications. This year our creative crews have provided a wealth of entertainment for their followers, friends and families, as well as those hoping to sail with the rally in the future and find out what an ocean crossing is rally like. There are many tales of navigating squalls, visits from the local wildlife of dolphins, whales and sea birds, baking triumphs and of course the boasts of landing a freshly caught fish for dinner!
On Friday, Kaizen’s log provided quite a unique update, and a tale that really displays the special camaraderie of sailing within a fleet of boats like the ARC. Finding themselves with a mid-Atlantic dilemma, the family crew of four landed a 100lb tuna, well beyond what their stomachs and fridge could cope with... As often happens in the ARC fleet, Skipper Kean put out a radio call to discuss the quandary and consult with any fellow captains nearby to see if they could assist. Regular rallier Peter von Seestermuhe (PvS) could not resist the temptation of this highly prized yellowfin and agreeing a rendezvous point, they met at nightfall. Christoph, the Captain of PvS, rowed over in the dark through large waves, in his tiny wooden dinghy with no outboard. Both skippers were delighted to make each other’s acquaintance, alleviate the fishy burden for Kaizen and satisfy the PvS crew’s appetite. Soon fish filled any remaining space in Christoph's dinghy as he rowed off happily back into the darkness. He must have been given a hero’s welcome as he rejoined his ravenous crew. Kaizen reported, "It was good to hear on this morning’s SSB call that he and his crew enjoyed the best tuna carpaccio they have ever tasted!"
The spirit of seamanship can never be underestimated. With light airs ahead the smallest yacht in the ARC+ fleet Tohuwabohu thought they would ask a passing ship if they could supply them with some fuel. To their surprise the Master of the 138 meter vessel, Kinasti bound for Ghana, was only too pleased to assist and they quickly made plans. With only 3 crew on board David Bishop provides a great account of the whole story in his log. It would appear it was a seamless exercise; “The Kinasti came steaming over the horizon and got bigger and bigger and soon enough we were close by that we could see the ships crew stood on the aft deck, they were waving at us and seemed as excited as we were to be doing something different. I spoke with the Master who agreed that as we came beam on to each other the crew would release the canisters into the water.”
The mission was a complete success as David ends his story with “Kinasti were waving and smiling and we could see that they were happy to help us out.”
One of the most followed sailors in this year's ARC is Natasha Lambert sailing on Blown Away, a Nautitech Open 46 which has been specially adapted for the Sip Puff technology that allows the 23 year old, who has Cerebral Palsy, to control the boat using breaths and her tongue. Joined by her supportive family; Mum Amanda, Dad Gary, sister Rachel and four friends, it is their first ocean crossing, and they are fundraising for three charities: Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, RNLI Cowes, and her own MissIsle School of Sip Puff Sailing. In their most recent update, marking two weeks since departing from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, they reported, "It’s a beautiful Sunday morning on board Blown Away today, we’ve been paddling our feet off the back and enjoying the tropical sun. the weather has been very calm the last couple of days in fact too calm, We’ve had very light winds and have been struggling to move at all in the fluctuating whisp of a breeze, but hopefully we will get a few more knots as the sun rises further. We passed our 2000mile mark and we now only have 661 nautical miles left to go! Our ships time has altered by another hour back, so we are now 3 hours behind U.K. time. As Natasha went on the helm yesterday a whale breached behind her in the distance, an incredible sight, and we watched it for 20 minutes or more as it seemed to be playing on the surface with its large fin appearing and splashing the water." It's enough to make any sailor on land feel very jealous of those magical moments on the ocean waves.
And as for ARC Mascot Sailor Ted, he’s having the best crossing ever with the family on Rush! He has been helming, sunbathing and even been seen drinking whisky and gambling with his friends late into the night. He is certainly having a fabulous adventure this year.
To read more about the adventures of the ARC and ARC+ fleet and what they have been up to during their crossing, see www.worldcruising.com/dailylogs
Both fleets are starting to arrive into Rodney Bay. Some of the faster boats crossed the finish line in as little as 10 days but with the winds dying off this week the majority of the fleet is expected to arrive over the next 4 days which will certainly provide a colorful sight in IGY Rodney Bay Marina.
The stories from their big blue adventures will continue to be shared across the pontoons for many days to come.