Tumbling at a rapid pace in the now larger seas. Crew are lethargic, life onboard is uncomfortable and the simple unknowns pushed it all over the edge. The lead up to this point is as follows: One primary winch comes and goes which is unsettling re mainsail reefing or mainsheet control. The headsail reefing is already a Harken mini winch handle operated at the anchor roller! The sea state is a mess as the waves have been driven hard from the north west, then we spent most of today in 28-33kn Easterly, then ESE, now we are due to be
By 5am our starboard primary winch had packed up, so had the headsail furling hydraulics again, and by 8am the generator refused to charge the batteries. Running the engine for charging & the wind died. 48 deg C in the engine room so not that keen on checking the hydraulic fluid levels. Got there in the end. OK. Dull overcast day. Motoring. So started fishing. Running 2 200lb lines and it’s Priceon v.s Marigold Ray. In the port corner Priceon is a professional deep high speed trawl lure. Hold the line at 6 knots and the vibrations go straight through
Motoring toward Mindelo during all of today’s daylight hours but as soon as darkness fell we picked up a 7-10-12kn southeasterly so are doing over 6-7kn under full sail (unusual as we normally reef at night being a family crew). It’s totally dark. You cannot see 6 inches infront of you. Staring into the blue black of the radar at 1.30am and hallucinating over the pretty colours of orange and light blue which could be a boat, waves or rain! Amongst flashbacks of a Pink Panther in 12 inch heels not counting sheep but counting filters…how many are there on
Day 4 at sea Following a dawn calm reaching into a southerly wind at up to 6 knots before reefing down as darkness fell to make 4 to 5kn on a course of 220 deg. Rain showers, which missed us, disturbed wind flow and gradually reduced boat speed to 1-2kn. Motoring again until 7am when sails were set for a couple of hours before wind dropped to 5kn. Back under motor. Perhaps the downside of the ARC, as in any rally, is the fixed departure date which has not coincided with a suitable weather window. The option to divert to
Morning of Day 3. Wind overnight left the rig banging in the swell as the breeze fell below 8 knots. Started motoring. Wind now 4 knots SSE and grib files show no wind/headwinds until at least Dec 1st, about 5 days time, so we are now on course to Mindelo to wait for a change in weather. Current ETA under sail would be just under 40 days not factoring in the expected headwinds. Expect to see a large number of ARC boats at anchor unless the outlook changes suddenly or they are secretly fitted with oars. An ARC Office guide
We let the lines go in relatively warm sunshine and headed out from the now almost clear wall from which the race boats and large yachts had all left. The wall was packed with spectators and well wishers. We were in no particular hurry to mix it up at the front so we moved at our own pace. We fell in nose-to-tail as we were funnelled toward the marina exit, creeping along and often just holding position, the band played, the fuel pontoon rocked, and we held our place inthe procession. By the time we were through the emotionally charged
Not very well attended this year.
Our traveller is being filled in by a welder as it is 50% worn through by the mainsheet shackle. It was a two day job to remove and so far a 1 day job to fit. Sourcing an M12 countersunk bolt took a couple of days. And of course I borrowed an impact driver which had the only bit of it’s kind in Europe; a drag bar socket made for American jeeps. Then I find the poor guy who lent it to me is paid crew and he had to tell the owner…