Dolphins Galore N20:56.7 W21:11.3

Freeway (of Penpol)
Phil Saltonstall, Bob Fousert & Andrew Beale (NZ)
Fri 14 Jan 2022 10:42
A gentle Northerly wind has allowed us to point at the Caribbean for the first time. We’re not breaking any sea speed records, but - under blue sunny skies and with a relatively quiet sea - it’s lovely to be making some steady progress in benign conditions.

We’ve had huge pods of dolphins join us from time to time. We hear their sonar chirps through the hull first and then see dozens making a beeline to play alongside us, jumping fully out of the water at times and slapping the surface with their noses and tails. We also passed a large turtle lazily sunning itself. In the meantime, we’ve run a few repairs to sails and running rigging, narrowly avoided some big merchantmen who really didn’t want to alter course around us, and gently managed to unwrap our trailing floating safety line from around our keel (heaven knows how it got there).

We’re keeping in touch with other ARC yachts as one of the HF net controllers and we regularly spot some of the quicker boats as our paths cross. Radio propagation improves overnight, when we can often see upwards of five ARC yachts painting on our AIS plot. They’re usually easier to spot when lit at night too - under a clear sky full of stars with a three quarter moon.

It’s not quick, but it’s delightful champagne sailing.