Food and jobs…

by Adrian 28th Nov 2014 - North Atlantic

Today was our 4th day at sea and we're getting nicely settled into a routine of watches, sleep, sail changes, food and maintenance jobs. I must say, I haven't been bored yet or had time to kick back, do nothing and read a book as they promised...

Chance encounter on the Ocean

by Adrian 26th Nov 2014 - North Atlantic

When sailing across even the vast Atlantic Ocean it would be rueful not to keep a close watch for other ships. Either by eye, by radar or by AIS we can look out for yachts and ships and check if we have to alter course to avoid a collision. The AIS (Automatic Identification System) uses VHF radio signals to transmit and receive information about each boat so when we spot another vessel we can check its size, speed, name and how likely it is to hit us!

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Settling into day 2

by Adrian 25th Nov 2014 - North Atlantic

Another brisk day sailing. Winds settling down to between 13 to 23 knots. We’ve been in contact with our Danish friends in Cygnus Pena, but fear we’re now out of VHF reach as we have gybed off in different directions. Only 2 or 3 boats left in visual contact. We did the SSB radio net earlier and heard from many more people so we’re all nicely spread out across the seas.

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Day 1

by Adrian 24th Nov 2014 - North Atlantic

Sailing into the sunset on day 1
It's 1900 and we've eaten and have started our night watches. Tonight's food was yummy shepherd's pie fortunately quick and easy as it was pre-prepared.

We’re off

by Adrian 24th Nov 2014 - North Atlantic

Finally we started our transatlantic trip. After being wind delayed yesterday it was nice to leave in the sunshine and cheers from the onlooking crowd.

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160 yachts crossed the start line with no problems and we’ve now been sailing down the island of Las Palmas towards the open ocean.

It was an amazing feeling slipping the dock lines and heading out of the marina knowing we’re not going to be on dry land again for another three weeks – and then it’d be around the world in the Caribbean.

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Slightly delayed…

by Adrian 23rd Nov 2014 - atlantic europe

The ARC has been slightly delayed for a day due to bad (30 knot+) winds at the start in Gran Canaria.

These unusually windy conditions over the past few days has had us all on edge and has changed the atmosphere slightly from a tropical sailing adventure to an ocean ordeal with people being worried about seasickness and a rough, uncomfortable and potentially dangerous start to a long ocean journey.

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Fruit and veg

by Adrian 21st Nov 2014 - food

Jax has been shopping every day for a week. Today our fruit and veg arrived. Each item had to be washed and dried, then will be individually wrapped before being stored in our new fruit nets hanging in the technical room.

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ARC weather routing session

by Adrian 20th Nov 2014 - North Atlantic

Yesterday, as part of the final preparations, we attended one of the ARC’s lectures about weather routing and passage planning for Atlantic trip. This was hosted by Chris Tibbs, and was a good summary of the two day meteorology course we attended earlier in the year at Hamble School of yachting.

Not a fantastically interesting blog post, but it was send by satellite phone, so I thought I’d include some information in the test!

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Weather Forecasts at Sea – Atlantic

by Adrian 17th Nov 2014 - Caribbean

After a few days at sea on an ocean crossing, any weather forecast we take with us becomes too old to be of any use. During the crossing we are out of range from all normal communications, so have two ways to receive vital weather information:

SSB is short wave marine radio. We have a good SSB setup on our boat, and can talk to other crews on other boats across vast distances (up to thousands of miles) if the conditions are right and receive small emails containing basic weather reports, computer generated SSBGRIB files predicting wind and pressure systems and synoptic weather faxes.

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ARC 2014 Preparations

by Adrian 15th Nov 2014 - equipment
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I’ve been back at the boat for just under two weeks now and we have one week to go before we’re scheduled to leave.

Its been a very busy time, packed full with preparations for ocean sailing, safety work, boat jobs and provisioning. We’ve prepared the boat and passed the ARC safety inspection and I’ve ticked off a number of major projects I’ve been meaning to do for a long while.

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