MONTHLY TIPS FOR SAILORS
Welcome once again to our Sailboat2Adventure Newsletter. This month I have a very good tip for consideration in your planning, particularly if you are setting out from Europe.
This annual rally sets off from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands every November, and it is just a fantastic way to start your ocean sailing experience. If you are starting out from anywhere in Europe, you are going to have racked up many blue water miles, and the attendant experience, just to arrive in Las Palmas. There, along with another 150 to 200 yachts and crews, you will experience ten days packed with seminars, practical sessions, tours, socialising and more socialising, before setting off on one of the worlds’ better sailing experiences. Many first timers do it each year, and you can imagine the excitement build up to setting off in the company of so many other vessels. As a first timer, it is comforting to be in company like this as you cross the Atlantic. Radio scheds are set up for each day, and everyone reports in. if you don’t like crowds, don’t worry, because after the first night, you will hardly see another of the fleet again until you reach Rodney bay in St. Lucia.
The first time I crossed as crew, out of a flotilla of 179 vessels, only twenty or so had GPS, and ten only, had shortwave radio. Crossing for the second time five years later in ‘TM’, all boats had GPS, and the majority had hf radio. That’s how much things had changed in five short years. On making landfall in Rodney Bay, another ten days of fun follow, leading up to the final night and prize giving. This is just prior to Christmas, when the fleet disperses to all parts of the Caribbean for the Noel celebrations and New Years. A fitting finale for your first ocean crossing. From there of course, you can make the decision to return to Europe, or carry on and tackle the Pacific.
I urge you to decide on the latter, and venture on into, and explore, the greatest, and loveliest expanse of water on our planet.
The ARC Rally is organised by Jimmy Cornell’s World Cruising organisation, and you can find them on www.worldcruising.com
Talk to you again next month