On November 19th I will be joining 5 strangers on a 40 foot racing yacht in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria to sail 3000 nautical mile across the Atlantic Ocean to St Lucia. We will spend 18-21 days at sea on the classic trade wind route. The ARC is the largest trans-ocean sailing event in the world and we will be joining the ARC fleet of approximately 200 boats. The race starts on November 24th so the first few days in Las Palmas will be spent on familiarizing myself with the boat and crew, final boat preparations, provisioning and some safety training.
I will be joining a 40 foot Beneteau First called Playing Around in the racing division and as this is a fairly seasoned and serious racing crew we will clearly not be playing around. There will be a crew of 6 of us on board, we plan to push hard day and night and will be doing four hours on four hours off for the duration of the trip. We will also be harnessing the forces of the well documented winds and ocean currents to our advantage.
Sailing across the Atlantic in the trade winds is one of the biggest feats and adventures in sailing. This is an amazing and exciting opportunity for me to complete this classic blue water voyage of epic dimensions. From my reading and many a conversation with old sea dogs (my friends) my sense is this voyage may not be as technically demanding as one might imagine. It will be wet, very wet with frequent squalls and bow breaking waves but it should at least be warm. The navigation instruction includes “sail south until your butter melts then head west.”
Timing is everything! The hurricane season is at its tail end and the timing is perfect to catch a trade wind sleigh-ride south west to the Caribbean. We will look forward to the famed and spectacular welcome in Rodney Bay.
If you are interested I will be documenting the race in this blog which I can upload via satellite connection. If you want to track the boat you can do that here via this race tracker link.
You can track our boat here, or see below for a map showing our current global position. You can also see all the boats through AIS tracking here! (Remember the race starts on November 24th, so you will not see the fleet until after the start, when you will be able to see here how we are doing relative to other boats in the race.) Or, if these links don’t work for you, search for Playing Around MMSI 235022843 at www.vesselfinder.com. You will see us safely tied up in Las Palmas marina until November 24th.
To stay up to date with the journey, click the ‘+’ below the map and enter your email address. You’ll get an update every morning (whenever there’s a new blog post).
This is going to be absolutely amazing!!