The ARC January fleet are progressing well on their way to Saint Lucia and life onboard has been a mix of fishing, eating, wildlife spotting, keeping fit and plenty of sailing. The weather has been a mix with good winds to start but many boats have now found themselves in a bit of a ‘hole’ although the upside meant a few of the crew members took a mid-Atlantic dip!
While there is plenty of sailing to keep everyone occupied, many of the boats have kept friends and family back home updated on life at sea via daily blogs. Alongside sailing, plenty of pastimes have been reported whilst at sea, the night shifts have been passed stargazing and planet spotting with apps used to identify the constellations, listening to audiobooks and pondering life, the universe and in some cases what they are doing out in the middle of the Atlantic!
Daytimes have been spent fishing with some reporting more success than others, a Mahi mahi provided sashimi on Cohiba, but a tuna and dorado were thrown back to the ocean. Aquavita caught and promptly lost a Mahi Mahi which took a prized bucket with it, much to the disappointment of the youngest crew member, Jason. There has also been much wildlife spotting, with reports of dolphins, birds and numerous flying fish jumping onboard to catch a ride.
Another very important part of each day at sea is food, and discussing it seems to be as important as cooking and eating. Self proclaimed gourmet cooking has been keeping Aquavita sustained with Chinese braised pork in five spices, German sausages with sauerkraut, coke chicken, seared salmon with fresh fruit, pan fried battered cauliflower, pork fillet in banana (sans cognac) sauce, banana bread and a grand finale of a whole leg of black pig serano ham made into sandwiches.
Rhapsody almost lost half of their fruit supply before they had even started when a fruit net broke just before the start line and deposited apples and oranges into the sea but some quick thinking and adapting their man overboard practice saw most fruit recovered and them crossing the line with barely a delay.
Special occasions have also been marked during the crossing, Cohiba celebrated a birthday with eggs, bacon and cake and a had half way party celebration with champagne and pancakes created by Sander. Celebratory pancakes were had on Serendipity IV on Sunday morning to mark one week at sea and Chinese New Year was celebrated on Aquavita, minus the traditional dumplings which they are saving for a calmer day! Burn's night was marked on Ca Canny with a Scotland-themed quiz sent by one of the crew’s wives to keep them busy ending with a tie and a fierce debate over whether 'Orkney' was a valid answer to one of the questions.
With a few days to go before the first boats are expected in Saint Lucia, preparations are underway and the yellow shirt team is waiting to meet them with a celebratory rum punch and fruit basket on the pontoon. Currently leading the fleet is Ta’i Miti, who are predicted to cross the finish line on the 30th January.
Follow the fleet's progress on the Fleet Viewer, YB Races App and read the blogs from the boats on the WCC website.