Start of ARC Rally

Ocean Gem
Geoff & Eileen Mander
Sat 6 May 2017 19:43
Date: Saturday 6th May 2017
Time: 19:41 (local)
Position: 19:09.345N 64:46.317W

The rally got off to a good start at midday as planned. The conditions were near perfect with wind around 17 or 18 knots just south of east. There was lots of sun and the general perspective in Sir Francis Drake sound was quite spectacular. The route took us west past Great Thatch island before we turned north leaving Jost van Dyke to starboard. The fleet then continued north towards Bermuda. A few faster boats stormed ahead but the majority of the fleet stayed pretty much bunched together for most of the afternoon into evening.

The only fly in the ointment has been a problem with Nat's baggage which includes all of his sailing kit. When he flew into Tortola last Tuesday his airline (KLM) had left his bag in Amsterdam. He has spent the last 4 days glued to the phone trying to get them to deliver his bag but all without success. KLM have just lead him on and told lies after lies. The poor guy was in despair. So we had to leave with Nat having little more than the clothes he arrived in. We're able to lend him waterproofs, harness, t shirts etc and the ARC organisation have given him a few items of clothing merchandise. He also bought a few bits of clothing from local stores. The question is will he ever see his bag again. We've all made a strong mental note not to ever fly with KLM.

We are making good progress northwards on a splendid beam reach under full sail and averaging over 7 knots. Let's hope this continues.