ARC day 3
at 0730h 24/11/10
Tuesday 23 November 2010
We’ve been at sea for 3 days now and are starting to get settled into a routine. Alan has recovered from his bug and has been ‘running around’ doing lots of little jobs and sail changes.
As is typical for us, the weather is not following the usual patterns. We’re having to stay a long way east, following the Africa coast about 60 miles offshore to ensure we keep the wind. Usually you would take a more south westerly route, but there are light winds forecast on this route, followed by strong SW winds. So although it involves sailing more miles we think it will be beneficial.
We can see from daily ARC position reports that we are one of the most easterly boats, but we have also made good progress south. If you are looking at the ARC website, you should ignore the ‘position ranking’ that is given to each boat. It probably shows that we are near the back of the fleet, but we’re really in a much better position when you consider that it’s not a straight line to St Lucia.
The winds are forecast the get lighter over the next 3 days, so are relatively good progress is likely to slow. Based on the current forecast, the best track could be passing inside and to the south of the Cape Verde Islands, in order to keep the wind. The trade winds do not yet appear to be established so we’re going to have to head further south than is usual to try and find them. It all makes for some interesting chatter with the other boats in VHF range. Hopefully all those boats further west and north will hit the wind hole and or westerly winds and we will sail on past them.
We’ve now lost sight of all the other ARC boats. Occasionally we see a distant sail, or someone pops up on AIS, but we know from the daily position reports that there are many boats nearby.
Toby’s had the fishing line out today, but no bites yet, although it did provide an hour or two of entertainment whilst we tried to untangle the line.
We’re currently sailing downwind in 12kt with our twin polled out headsails. It’s our favourite point of sail as we’re very stable and Sir Humphrey (the wind vane self steering) handles it well.