Today at 1200 (UTC -6) the World ARC Fleet departed from Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz in the Galapagos. For the next three weeks or so they will sail across the Pacific Ocean to the French Polynesian Island of Hiva Oa, a 2,980 nautical mile journey, for many in the fleet the longest journey they have ever taken and will ever take. It will be a slow start for this Leg 4 due to the lighter winds around the Galapagos, but it's expected the wind will pick up as they leave the volcanic archipelago behind.
It was a lovely start here in Santa Cruz, a couple water taxis came out to experience the start as we had 24 boats crossing the start line at midday. Finnegans Wake was the first to cross the line followed by Aranui and Mischief. Coloured sails were seen as the fleet made their way towards the horizon and appreciation towards the yellow shirts and excitement for the weeks ahead was clearly heard over the radio as they crossed the line.
Not all the boats were able to make it across the start line today unfortunately. Mad Monkey
is waiting for an injured crew to recover, Blue Pearl
is waiting for their water maker to be fixed and JoJo’s Circus
is waiting for a parcel to arrive. However the good news is that it seems as if these 3 boats should be heading towards French Polynesia by the end of the week.
The fleet's progress can be followed on the Fleet Tracker and from the boat's blogs, sent in whilst they're under way. The boats are expected to make landfall in Hiva Oa from 15 March.