Lexington - Captain Bob: 01*. 11' north. 42*. 47' west
Bill Jones ask a few interesting questions that I thought I would answer in the form of a post.
His first question was will I have a yearning to go back to sea. You never know what the future will bring. With my family not into sailing at all, I doubt I will make another run at it. I have attempted a fairly major trip and I doubt I want to try to top it. Definitely I would go crazy going solo. A major benefit of the Arc is the other people you are sailing with. I also do not like fixing the boat. We have been lucky that we have not had too much trouble. I still remember diving over the boat to find a fish plugging the intake of the generator cooling water. In retrospect it was an easy conclusion that I missed earlier in my checklist. Then in diving overboard, my zip lock bag of money and credit cards came out of my pocket to be found three days later with scuba gear under the boat. The last big negative is the expense. I am basically very frugal and this whole boat thing is expensive. Interestingly enough Bill Jones told me to buy a boat. What a friend.
The next question was what have I learned. I will continue to add to this list as I ruminate more and more.
Sailing technique: Not many people have done all that much down wind sailing before a trip like this. I am very happy that I read about using twin head sails before the trip. I am sure there are good reasons why a lot of boats do not use them but I do not know that answer. With them we could sail dead down wind to 148 degrees off the bow. It does take two poles. But often we would set them without change for days. Then if the wind or course did change you could let one sail flop over onto the other.
When to motor or sail slow is the next question. I was definitely impressed when we arrived in French Polynesia after 3 weeks. We motored about 150 hours and another boat never motored. They arrived 8 hours after us. I was impressed with their skill. We have an asymmetrical spinnaker on a top down furler. In retrospect I wish we would have used it more than the engine.
Gear: I have use my sewing kit much more than I thought when I bought it. Speaking of sewing, NEVER HAVE ANY CANVAS MADE FOR YOUR BOAT THAT DOES NOT USE UV RESISTANT THREAD! TENORA IS A BRAND NAME
I made chafe guards out of boat blanket ( stuff fender covers are made from) I sewed a strip of Velcro along one side and it sticks to the boat blanket that is wrapped around any thing.
SHADE CLOTH: This is one thing I over calculated. Doing it again I would get the lightest material, make a cover fitting over the boom from the mast to the stern and not have anything any fancier.
ATM: I have done fine without a ATM card but they are very convenient.
We have almost all manual stored digitally which is a major asset.
May fair winds fill your sails with good ideas!