ARC+ Leg 2: Cape Verde to Grenada

2180nm in two weeks. By the time we got to Grenada we were ready for a break.

Preparing Dinner
Preparing Dinner

The first two or three days were the worst – the genoa furler packed up so we had to drop it into the forecabin. The furler needs to work in case you need to furl the sail in a hurry, for example if a squall hits unexpectedly or man overboard. The genoa is the “power sail” so our speed reduced from 7.5 to 6.5 knots – a shame since we’d had a good start and were sitting around 20th out of 88 at that stage.

The next day we flew the Super Zero, but after an hour or so the tack line cut through the bowsprit so we had to try to take it down. It got horribly caught around the forestay and – long story short – Karen went up the mast and cut the sail away. It was dark by the time she was back on the deck, and her arms and legs were black and blue with bruises. Very brave.

The rest of the trip we sailed using only the mainsail and the jib (staysail), so the passage took two days longer than planned. Laura and Karen prepared some wonderful meals – we ate very well – and under Martin’s guidance, landed a wahoo which we cooked and ate the following evening.

We are now resting and repairing the boat ready for the next part of the journey. We will make our way to St Lucia for Christmas and the start of the World ARC on 7 January.

Much more on this passage on Karen’s blog.

ARC+ Leg 1: Las Palmas to Cape Verde

Poled out Genoa
Poled out Genoa

We completed the ARC+ Leg 1 in five days and eleven hours. With all the handicaps applied our final position was 22nd out of the 92 boats, and fifth in our division of nineteen – a great result!

After very calm winds at the start, the weather was perfect for the passage – 15-20 knots of wind generally from behind. We poled out the genoa, put a preventer on the main, and let her fly. Even the swell wasn’t too bad.

We’ve now had a few days in Cape Verde. There were surprisingly few snags on the boat so we’ve done some tourism, driving around the island of St Vicente and yesterday visiting the neighbouring island of Santo Antào. Spectacular scenery!

Cape Verde
Cape Verde

On Friday we start leg 2 – 2000nm to Grenada – wish us luck!

Tomorrow is the Big Day

The first leg of the ARC+ 2022 starts tomorrow from Las Palmas. The start is 1300Z but we won’t be competing on the start line – a few minutes over 5-6 days won’t make any difference and there’s no point in taking any unnecessary risks.

The new Super Zero sail

There’s been loads of prep this week. The engine now has a new salt-water pump and exhaust elbow, both of which contribute to engine cooling. The engine is now running at 80C as opposed to 95C before, so we think it’s fixed. We’ve got tons of meat, veg and drinks and it’s all stored away safely. All the databases are up-to-date and I’ve practised my skills with the sextant – just in case…

When we tested the engine we also practised setting the pole and flying the new Super Zero sail. Lots of good learning – I expect we’ll only fly white sails with the genoa poled out, but we’re ready either way.

I’ve tried to embed a link to the tracking website so you can see the position of all the boats So far, I’ve failed, but I’ll try again when I get a chance.

Meanwhile, you can follow our position at: and see all of the boats at the World Cruising Club website. And if you download the YB Races app, you can follow ARC Plus 2022 race and see the positions of all the boats. There’s also a WCC blog which many boats contribute to.

More when we arrive in Cape Verde!