|Raising the World ARC flag|
The big day had finally arrived. On Saturday, January 11, 2014, we left the dock at Rodney Bay, St. Lucia and headed out of the marina to the Start Line for the 2014 World ARC. There are about 4 boats that were to start with us or join somewhere along the way. Many are going to complete their circumnavigation in about 16 months and return to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia in April of 2015. A few of the boats are headed back to their homes somewhere in the Pacific and will leave the World ARC then.
Another small group of us are planning to head to New Zealand in October and will rejoin World ARC 2015 when it comes through Australia in the fall of 2015, returning to St. Lucia in April 2016. We are looking forward to meeting those who are taking more time to complete the circumnavigation.
Unfortunately, several boats had to turn back for repairs or equipment. We have not yet learned the details, but our numbers arriving in the San Blas Islands off Panama are slightly smaller than expected. The remaining fleet arrived over a three day period so we are staying somewhat together on the seas. Those that had issues are supposed to catch up by the time the last group transits the Panama Canal.
|Our friends on Nexus|
We had an uneventful crossing which is a good thing! Harold and Christel had advised that we stay at least 60 miles off the coast of Columbia, which we did. If you were following our track, you may have thought we were going to Jamaica! The wind was East and East North East all the way so we were being moved along nicely. Trillium loves to sail in 20-30 knots of wind even when the swells are 6-9 feet. We were being set to the north some of the time so needed to tack a couple of times to come back down to our course. Our friends on S/V Nexus reported 40 knots of wind off the coast of Columbia and a rough ride. I am glad we chose to stay further off the headland.
|Wing and wing|
It was our first time sailing wing and wing. We poled out the genoa on the side opposite the mainsail. This really steadied the boat and required very little tweaking of the sails once we had them balanced. We were able to maintain this sail plan through the night as well. The timing of the Start was probably good planning on behalf of the World Cruising Club, as we had a beautiful full moon for 6 nights in a row! It was lovely night sailing. We keep a steady speed between 6.5 and 8 knots over ground depending of the wind. At times, we were surfing the huge swells and would register 10+ knots of the ride.
After everyone settled into the motion of the boat (I had my usual challenge with mal de mare for two days), we were able to eat, sleep, read and enjoy the passage. Unfortunately we were skunked in the fishing department. I think we were going too fast. Hopefully we will have better luck on the longer passage coming up. Some of menu planning was counting on, but not dependent on, some fresh fish!