World ARC Leg 1: Rodney Bay to Santa Marta

Poled-Out Genoa
Poled-Out Genoa

So we’ve finally set off on the grand adventure. For this leg and and the next we have Tim & Jane aboard to help.

The race start went well. Without trying too hard (too risky to challenge hard when you’re in your home!) we were third over the line, but boats 1 & 2 were judged to be over the line at the start so we were officially the first boat across.

Sunrise at Sea
Sunrise at Sea

After an hour or so, as the boats started to spread out, we took some time to rig the pole and set the sails for the 800 nm of downwind port tack sailing ahead. With that done, we were able to pretty much stay on the rhumb line (direct) for Santa Marta. We did have to gybe to starboard a couple of times but we simply furled the main and sailed on just the genoa until we could gybe back and put the main out again.

The only fly in the ointment was that Jane was poorly for most of the passage. A cold turned chesty then coughy then ear-achey. We called our medical support service and they recommended antibiotics, which we have onboard. She’s now on the mend.

Overall it was a very pleasant passage. No big seas, no bad squalls, winds below 25 kt most of the time, and we had success fishing!

The first fish that took the hook took the whole line and lure as well. Rerigged, the next one just took the lure. Third time lucky – a Mahi Mahi took the bait and Tim and Karen reeled it in. The fish was a beautiful yellow-green colour and it’s now in the freezer ready for our next meal onboard.

We are now in Santa Marta, Colombia, and can’t quite believe we’ve sailed our boat from France to South America! It just doesn’t seem real.

Next are a few days’ R&R and boat maintenance, then World ARC 2023 Leg 2: Santa Marta to the San Blas Islands.

Read more at:
Karen’s Travels
World Cruising Logs
YB Tracker

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.