DATE : 24.11.2012 , TIME : 18:00 UTC
MOOD : EXHAUSTED, BUT ANXIOUS
This was my prepared first line a couple of hours ago, But we had a Skipper's meeting today with 400 attendants and here comes the latest news:
ONLY THE RACING DIVISION WILL START TOMORROW. THE REST OF THE FLEET WILL ONLY LEAVE ON TUESDAY THE 27TH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is only the second time in the history of this event, that a delay has happened. But for good reasons, and we have no problem with this decision. There is going to be a lot of wind out there, with 6m high waves forecasted. So who needs that, we are here for the fun. Only the racers will start tomorrow. Let's just hope that , as the option was given, not too many cruisers leave tomorrw, but I guess we all stay together.
Of course we are all excited to finally leave. And we were so busy over the last few days.
Repairs had to be done. good friends had to be waved Good-Bye, shopping still was ongoing, Safety briefings and demonstrations to be attended, wall paintings to be finished, and on and on and on. Unbelievable. It seems to be like an endless story, but no return now, we are ready to go !
228 boats of various sizes and designs, 25 different boat nationalities, about 1200 crew on board of which 35 are children under the age of 16.
So quite a crowd.
If you want to see latest pictures , look under Gallery on the above mentioned web page.
Also go to YOU TUBE , where you will find plenty of films from last year, and if you are patient enough, later on from this year's rally, you will hopefully find our's.
So tomorrow is the small 'grande spectacle' now, There will be thousands of people in the harbour and beyond to watch the start of the rally, even if it is just the racing division tomorrow.
Waving good-bye has a long tradition at sea, and there will be plenty of it.
So again, I am sure there will be shortly a film released either on the ARC page or on YOU TUBE.
For us however it will be "full concentration". No accidents hopefully with all these boats around squeezing across the starting line. Although is is a rally and not a race, some guys take it very seriously. So let's hope for the better.
Unfortunatley our technical equipment on board is not fast enough, so I can not send any more blogs onto this web page until
our arrival in S. Lucia which is expected now to be around the 17th of December.
However we might be able to send text to the ARC page, so check for us there in the meantime.At the end of this journey I will copy those on to here.
Which gives you a nice brake, me as well of course. I will then also follow up on the second part of the Islands of Dogs story, where world attention due to the events in the East , turned to the Atlantic. So if you haven't read that Blog yet, use your time now ! In order to prepare you for that excitement,
I have a question for you:
All ARC boats are more or less of a modern design, some younger , some older, but the sail plan and hull shape with most is of the modern aera with 3D design and 'model tank' trial runs. For the racing division the crossing from Gran Canaria for the 2800 nautical miles to the West will be 14 days roughly, but for the majority of the cruiser division, which we are in as well, will be between 18 to 24 days.
Now how long do you think it took Christopher Columbus to do a similar voyage, actually his first one in the year 1492 ?
Now, don't look it up, just have a guess, and when I have arrived in S Lucia, I will release the second part of my previous blog, and reveal the information.
You will be surprised.
Best, Master Mike.
SUNDAY 25th OF NOVEMBER
As said above the start of the Racing division was today. And some other boats left as well,
all in all 34 boats in total . So the main body of the fleet is really still in port.
And we are some of the very few people who will ever participate in a start twice for the same rally:
Once as spectators, and once as participants.
HISTORY IS IN THE MAKING !
And the wind today played funny games .
In the early morning it stated blowing from the SW as forecasted. The morning then saw no clouds,
very hot, and humid.
Shortly after the start at 13:00 UTC the wind was gone, and started half an hour later with equal strength from the NE. And now, at 14:00 UTC, no wind at all.
Anyway, we have a new pump problem, so we are happy to stay for two more days.
But the PARTY DEFINITELY HAS STARTED.
As I said before, saying farewell has a long tradition with sailors !
And for the first time I have downloaded a Video. Let's hope it works.