Cloudy Bay - Day 1+2 Ready? Set? Sail!
When do you know if you’re ready for an Atlantic Crossing? Is it after stocking every empty corner of your boat with food and water? Is it after watching every YouTube “how-to” video? Is it after buying the best equipment, training your crew and downloading weather forecasts? I guess you just have to toss the lines and head for the starting line.
And we did... as the first boat to leave the ARC-pontoon, we cruised off 1.5 hours before the rally. We tacked back and forth a couple of times to make sure everything worked. We discussed racing strategies and prepared the gennaker on the foredeck.
But nerves had arrived on Cloudy Bay and about 10 minutes before the start we were trying to hoist the gennaker with the code-zero halyard. It only took us 3 times lowering and raising again before we realized our mistake. And we have already sailed together so many times with the gennaker! So I guess being totally prepared really doesn’t exist. Eventually we managed to raise to gennaker with the right halyard right at the countdown to the rally start.
Off we went flying with a more southerly direction then most boats. Zigzagging in between the big containerships, cruise ships and gas-platforms, where our steady 6 knots speed dropped to almost nothing in the shadow of these monsters. We got through and when evening came we were please with our 4th place of all boats in the race. We treated ourselves to a delicious fresh veggie overload sunset dinner before sailing off in the night.
Waking up only to discover our pride got shattered when half of the fleet managed to pass us overnight. No time for breakfast but right back to work - trimming the sails and altering course until we felt confident at a steady cruising speed of 7 knots again. Pierre and Piano came by to say hi and left us in their wake when they flew off.
It’s really interesting to see that such a long distance rally like the ARC+ can be so unpredictable and surprising. I guess we will just keep trimming and altering and we are very curious to see what happens next.
Good luck to everybody!