ARC + 2022
Join the largest cruising fleet in the world and cross the Atlantic in the safety of other boats. Leaving Gran Canaria 8th Nov 2022.
Leg 1 – Northern Ireland to France
Leave home port of Carrickfergus and sail the 500Nm to Port de Camaret-sur-mer in France. From fadge and soda bread to pain au chocolat and baquettes. Meet your fellow sailors making their way down from Southampton to join the party.
Leg 2 – Crossing the Bay of Biscay
The Bay of Biscay has a split personality. You might enjoy a tranquil sail across still, blue waters with dolphins on the starboard bow and a gentle breeze across the aft quarter. Or, the dark side of the bay could unleash its formidable power. 5000 ships have foundered in the deep waters. As you face an onslaught of monstrous waves, hours can seem like days. Boisterous killer whales could take a disliking to the boat and break the rudder to render the steering useless. If you experience the formidable reputation of the Bay of Biscay, spare a thought for the 15000 souls who didn’t make it out. Some may say a prayer, while others offer sacrifices to Poseidon, but everyone will breath a sigh of relief after safe passage across the infamous Bay of Biscay.
Leg 3 – Landing in Gran Canaria
Soak up the party atmosphere as you celebrate your achievement. Join the throng of sailors gathering in Gran Canaria for the rally and swap stories of your recent adventure. You’ve earned it.
Leg 4 – Stopover in Cape Verde
Catch your breath in glorious Cape Verde and rest (party) for a few days as the fleet regroups and you catch up with new friends.
Leg 5 – 2700Nm across the Atlantic
Point the boat West and set the sails to catch the trade winds. Settle into a rhythm of life at sea. Your world is dictated by the watch system and everyone will take their turn at the various duties. The fleet will quickly spread out, so we will be all alone in the vast expanse of ocean. There will be long periods of tranquillity interspersed with flurries of activity and possibly moments of abject terror.
Leg 6 – Arrival in Grenada
Arrival at Grenada will be a mixed bag of emotions. There will be pride in achieving an Atlantic crossing, sadness that it is over, joy in being re-united with friends and family. The Caribbean welcoming committee will ensure that the rum is flowing and the party will be epic. Time to get that anchor tattoo 🙂
It will take about 10 days to sail from Northern Ireland to Gran Canaria, 6 days Gran Canaria to Cape Verde and 18 days from Cape Verde to Grenada. There will be a few days at each stop, so the total trip will span 6 weeks.
Officially, no. Have you ever looked across at another driver at the traffic lights? Let’s just say we don’t want to be the last boat to arrive.
Donate something to the RNLI before you leave home. There isn’t a hope of them rescuing you, but the good karma might guide you across the Atlantic safely.
Under international law, captains of vessels have to assist persons in distress at sea. We will be on a relatively busy route, so stick your thumb out and ask for a lift.
We have a few more high-tech aids:
-AIS; Automatic Identification System, which lets other vessels see us at all times
-EPIRB; Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, which lets emergency services pinpoint our vessel’s position
– PLB; Personal Locator Beacon, which lets emergency services pinpoint an individual’s position
-Flares; rockets, parachute and smoke flares are used to alert others to our predicament and position.
-VHF radio; we will be able to get in touch with local shipping
-DSC; Digital Selective Calling, which alerts everyone within VHF range of your co-ordinates.
-Sat phone; we could call the shore crew for support. They might not be able to do much, but a calm voice is always reassuring. You’ll soon feel like you’re in front of the fire with cosy slippers on, even if there’s a raging wind outside and the hounds of hell are trying to tear the boat apart.
It’s a sailboat. Christopher Columbus didn’t worry about such things.
We will carry enough food for 6 people for 6 weeks. That’s over 2 tonnes of food. If you eat all that and you’re still hungry, it’s maybe time to step away from the cookie jar for a few days…
No. You need to be devoid of fruit and vegetables for 3 months before you are at risk. We can carry enough fresh fruit and vegetables to ensure you won’t break out in sores or lose your teeth. By the way, bananas and women were both considered bad luck on a boat. Bananas ruin perfectly good fruit and women ruin perfectly good men. Apparently naked women strapped to the front of the boat calms the sea, but it’s hard to get many volunteers for that job in the midst of a storm. Thankfully, we’re not a superstitious bunch and we welcome everyone who chooses to join us. Just finish your banana before we leave the dock, please.
If we keep going west, we’ll hit South America somewhere; it’s pretty hard to miss. I’m sure Brazil’s lovely at this time of year.
Not a problem, we can drink the sea water once we pass it through a membrane at super-high pressure to take out all the icky stuff. We will also carry 600l of fresh water in two separate tanks and 60l of bottled water. Coming from Northern Ireland, I’m expecting the rain to follow me, too. We’ll be having daily showers and water fights onboard.
We have a three-burner gas hob, grill and oven. There are two butane gas bottles for the journey, which is more than sufficient. There will also be plenty of dried and tinned food, just in case a gas explosion uses up all of our butane.
No. As part of this package, we will take you through some sailing qualifications and sea survival training. We will arrange this training at your convenience at some stage, well in advance of the trip.