Sailing Logic Blog

ARC 2016 Blog 7

The boats have been busy blogging! First up - Arthur Logic

Over the last few days we have had the dubious pleasure of experiencing first hand another famous aspect of sailing lore: the doldrums.

After crossing the 1000 mile mark on Sunday, we attempted to race South after receiving news that the long awaited trade winds were scheduled to begin. But alas! We sailed straight into a wind hole and remained becalmed throughout Monday and Tuesday. 

At first the crew gladly made the most of this rare break in our otherwise busy day-to-day race schedule, taking the opportunity to swim in the Atlantic's 4500 metre deep water, read books, relax and play cards. 

The water is amazingly smooth in these conditions, often without even a single ripple to disturb the surface - something we certainly hadn't expected to see from this mighty ocean. It's hard to believe at this point we are actually in the Atlantic and not on some tranquil lake. 

But as this wore on into a second day, frustrations began to grow, with the crew itching to get moving again. It's tough being stuck bobbing around in the ocean, knowing many of your competitors are racing ahead while you are rendered completely helpless. 

The sun had also come out in a big way, with the lack of wind making the heat particularly intense. A shelter rigged from a bedsheet offered some scant shade for us to huddle under, emerging periodically to take our turn at the helm - still a necessity in these conditions, to ensure that even the slightest and fleeting breath of wind propels us at least a couple of metres in the right direction. 

A school of mahi mahi took up residence under the boat, swimming along also in search of shade. A single toss of the line yielded a bite in under a minute but we decided the resulting catch was a bit small and returned it to the waters. 

But, just as we had almost given up hope of ever getting a breeze back in our sails, in the early hours of Wednesday something stirred in the darkness...WIND!!!!! 

This marked the start of slowly but steadily improving conditions and now, much to the great delight of all aboard, we are zipping along at around eight knots. Full steam ahead, next stop: trade winds!

And from Joanna-

All good on board JOANNA. We are having our half way celebration today and Peter is cooking some traditional Swiss food. We have had a good days sailing averaging about 7 knots directly towards St Lucia. Its rather warm down here and everyone is enjoying the sunshine. Showers all round today. 

We are about to run out of wind tonight as we get into a transition zone where the wind should go from ESE to NE.Perhaps some rain too.  We expect to slow down for a few hours tonight but should be back up to pace by tomorrow morning. 

Meanwhile, Rambler 88 has arrived in St Lucia, beating the course record! 

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