15 December 2011
Today all the crew left on flights to the USA and Ireland. All of a sudden the boat is kinda empty. Not that it was ever crowded but it is now different. Back to the normal way now for us after six weeks of having someone else on board. Guest berths are now being returned to storage places, stern lazarrettes are not as packed, and food shopping is much reduced. Good to have them all onboard for the trip and a few days after. Hopefully everyone had a good time and got to enjoy both the Canaries and St Lucia from a boating perspective. We did take an enjoyable day trip to Marigot Bay for a swim a few days ago. Nice short motoring trip down and back.
Work on the boat is progressing, getting it back to pre-crossing status. The local welder helped re-inforce the bowsprit that showed some tendency to bend under heavy load. His team is also straightening the one bent stanchion, should be completed tomorrow (these guys are all from the East Indies not the West Indies and are almost a constant comedy team with their bantering. However they do know how to weld very well and really understand metal and its purposes. The shop is a nightmare or electrical wires, scrap metal and general stuff all over. OSHA would be shocked). All the boat has been washed and the baked on salt removed. The crew polished all the stainless so it again looks new.
A list of items to be bought in the USA is being completed. Not many supplies down here, enough to make most simple repairs however. But will need to pick up a new small hatch (broke when the original preventer rigging caught under the lip and broke the hold down), some lifeline wire, new end fitting for the spinnaker pole (actually that was damaged years ago but I forgot about it), new USA style electrical fittings so I make adapters for shore power, new boom vang bracket, etc, etc.
Locally we have found St Lucia to have some very good restaurants and some really expensive places with over the top presentation but quantity is not there. But if you pay attention there are reasonable places to eat with good quality. Supermarkets are very good. What a change for several years in Europe. All the American major brands are here but it lacks the European markets and fun vendors. Obviously most items are imported except tropical fruits. But bread quality is not great.
This island seems to have more wealth than expected. Jeremy noted correctly there are no junk cars driving around. St Lucia is British in laws and recent heritage so things are familiar and seems to have benefited from that style of organization. Even the local currency has the Queen’s picture (a bight a very young age).
So as far as the ARC is concerned nearly every boat has come into St Lucia now. The closing party and awards will be on Saturday. About ½ the boats have already moved on to new locations but plenty are still here.
In summary of the crossing we took 18 days, 17 hours and 17 minutes. Distance according to the log meter was 2710 nautical miles but that is distance over the water not true distance covered on the globe. Using a correction factor the probable distance was more like 2,934 nautical miles. This includes the drift from the Canary and Equatorial currents plus the fact that the paddle wheel for the log meter always reads slightly different than the GPS miles. So our average speed was about 6.5 knots, including current assist.
We ran the generator for 76 hours. This was to recharge the batteries and it was probable averaging about 60 amps at 24 volts so we recharged about 110 kilowatts into the system. However the engine also provided charging to the system so it was probably closer to 150 kilowatts.
Water usage was high since the watermaker kept working like a champ. We started with 1,000 liters in the tanks. The water maker ran for a total of 42 hours. That equates to about 1,600 liters. We finished with about 500 liters in the tanks so we consumed about 2,100 liters of water! Plenty of showers for all.
Diesel consumption was about 560 liters including the engine and generator. What surprised me was the minimal fuel use when running the engine. With the seas so flat and the current and winds behind us our motoring for days (70 hours) gave much better consumption that the normal 7 liters per hour at 7 knots. In fact I think we were closer to 6 liters per hours. Unfortunately I did not fill the tanks completely here in St Lucia since the fuel dock flow rate and shut off was questionable.
Food consumption was close to as planned. Pat pre made 15 frozen dinners or blanched veggies. We had very good service form the freezer for that and had plenty of stock in the pantry to last weeks longer. Of course we ran low on Mars candies, partially baked bread, eggs, fresh fruit, etc. But there was plenty of pasta, grits, cereal, canned fruits, canned soups, canned seafood, etc.
So, safe passage, good food, great sailing, good friends, well organized trip by ARC and many memories to share.
Thanks again to Eric, Jeremy and Seamus for coming along and making the trip safe and enjoyable with many yarns, yawns and yawls. Oh Eric we will mail your blue jeans to your house!
Bruce and Pat