Have you ever dreamed of sailing your boat across an ocean? It is a challenge, and a big achievement and in today’s modern world its one of the most extraordinary things a person can do!
In our opinion sailing from Europe to the Caribbean is one of the more predictable and pleasant long passages.
If you are planning an East-to-West Transatlantic Passage you will likely be using the Canary Islands as a staging point to prepare for the nearly 3000 mile crossing to the Caribbean. We have done this 3 times over the years. First via Brazil then Caribbean, the second time leaving on Christmas Eve heading to Antigua (documented here in Season 5) and this excerpt below...
Again in 2012 we filmed the experience of joining the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers crossing late November to St Lucia. We filmed this in Season 9. Here is a short video excerpt of the preparation and excitement of the ARC from that voyage.
Leaving the Med in September we explored Morocco but we had to move on to the Canaries to prepare for the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers - ARC that would set sail in just a few weeks.
Winds 25-30 with higher gusts as we start the ARC. It is still cool and we are wearing foulweather gear for the first few days as we head south.
ARC fleet on AIS - note more than 50% of the fleet are not on AIS so there actually twice as many as show up here!! It made for an exciting and crowded first night. Luckily it thinned out after that first night.
Paul tries to send a SMS with the Satphone. Not a very satisfactory experience. Remember when you had a "non-smart" phone years ago? But tweeting from the satphone did allow us to update the website from sea...
Frequent visitor - flying fish came on board at least 3-4 per night - more during rough evenings. Paul had the distinction of being hit twice by a flying fish! Once one hit in the head and once in the leg :-)
We had one day of calms during the crossing...
We ate quite well with a special steak meal on the calm day when we could set out a proper table!
We saw ARC boats every day - very unusual for us to see other yachts. This is the 56 foot cat Poco Loco who kindly took some shots of us as well.
We are sailing wing and wing for much of the crossing. Here is an excerpt from our ARC film on our preferred rig for downwind.
3-4 meters swell were a constant feature...
We surfed regularly at 12-13 knots and hit 15 on one occasion. It was our fastest passage ever at just 15.5 days!!
We crossed the finish line at 0158 on Thursday December 13!!
We pulled in to the dock at Rodney Bay and were warmly welcomed by neighbouring yachties and ARC committee despite the hour (2AM)!! If you do one of these rallies you will undoubtedly find the camaraderie and community to be one of the big pluses!
Join us aboard Distant Shores for the adventure of a lifetime crossing the Atlantic