Half Way to Bermuda.

Paul Huntley
Sun 10 May 2009 04:14

25:02N 64:29W

Sunday 10th May 2009


Good morning to you all, I have just finished my watch and come below to keep you up to date. The first thing is that one of our crew has had severe sea sickness since the start, I am able and pleased to report that he is now much better and taking fluids again and even eating his first meal since departure, Guy and I were quite worried, being out of helicopter range for a medivac we were considering the possibility of a trasfer to a passing ship with better medical facilities however all is now well. The weather and sea conditions are much improved and the forecast is more of the same with high pressure building towards Bermuda.

We have all heard the tales of the Bermuda Triangle, this afternoon the auto pilot dropped the course, when re connected the Fluxgate compass was 50 degrees east of track compared to the ships compass. We put Drew on the wheel for half an hour then continued with the auto pilot for perhaps an hour with this discrepancy, it then suddenly gybed the boat and locked back on to the correct heading. The only explanation is an intermittent fault on the Fluxgate compass or we sailed over a strong magnetic force! Well what do you think? Spooky or what.

With a fully fit crew we can now relax in to the original watch pattern of two hour on and eight off, this is already making life much easier than the three hours on and six off we have been running.

Guy has been busy today practicing his celestial navigation, the Sun Gun (Sextant) has been out of the box, It is extremely difficult to measure the angle  from horizon to sun on a small boat bouncing around on deck, despite these difficulties his Sun Run Sun gave an intercept of just three miles from our GPS fix. Well done Guy, I have taken a sight of Venus in the western sky with  a full moon the horizon is very clear, I have yet to do the calculations I will let you know the result if it is not too embarrassing.

Guy in appalling conditions on our second night out produced a chicken casserole that boosted morale for those of us able to enjoy this feast. It was my turn tonight in more benign conditions we had baby pork ribs with fresh vegetables followed by a fresh fruit salad. It seemed to go down well and there seem to be no after affects as yet. Guy also baked our first loaves of bread this passage ,it was so good the crew were tucking into it before it had time to cool.  

Today we logged another exceptional days run of 173 n.miles, the log at the moment is reading 417 n.miles since leaving Tortola, the average speed being 7 knots proving the real star is not the crew but Libertad, she sails on through the heaviest seas without so much as a whimper. All credit to Hallberg Rassy and their design team Enderlin.

The night watch now is fantastic, not so many stars because of the full moon, but 11/12 knots of wind on the starboard beam is still giving us 6:5 to 7:0.

We have to report our positions every day at 13:00 UTC to the headquarters and they then plot them on their web site with the Google earth chart, anyone can log on to www.worldcruising.com/arce  and follow our progress homeward bound.

With half the journey completed to Bermuda our spirits are high and we are settling in to the twenty four hour routine of watch keeping, I was the SSB Radio net controller today which involves broadcasting the weather forecast to all ARCE boats and requesting lat/long positions of each vessel and relaying the information to Cowes in the Isle of Wight via iridium e-mail.

If the wind holds we are hoping for another good days run, being more than half way we celebrated with a film evening watching an episode of Coast from the Western Isles to Shetland, Orkney and the East coast.

Well I hope this finds you all as contented as the crew of Libertad, Best wishes Paul.