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Well, the boats have made superb progress on their ARC 2022 crossing of the Atlantic. However, about 900 miles short of St Lucia, the NE trade winds are beginning to vanish and before long we expect the boats to be becalmed. They have fuel for about 700nm of motoring, so they need wind! It looks like thee may semi drift for the next 3-4 days and then, (all sacrifices please to Neptune) some wind will return! You can see Bluejay’s position below (Starling is nearby, slightly more south) and th weather map with the BIG wind hole between them and St Lucia. Crew blogs from each boat also follow.
Since the halfway mark there has been a definite change In the weather, where as we had managed to go almost 10 days without seeing or being effected by a squall it now feels like we are lucky if we go 10 minutes without either thinking about how me might dodge one, or how many reefs we will put in to ride it out.
We’ve been steadily getting closer to our destination these past few days with pretty reasonable progress being made each day in some nice consistent trade winds but the threat of a large wind hole between us and St Lucia is ever present and it looks like at some point in the next 24 hour after 12 days of sailing and nearly 2300nm we will have to fire up our engine to continue making progress towards our end destination.
Looking at the latest forecast we may be lucky and be able to squeeze another daylight spinnaker run in today (2/12) but then we look fairly committed to at least 3 days of motoring if not more.
There will still be plenty to do aboard as a break from sailing will mean things like winch servicing, rig checking & running rig maintenance can all be undertaken without too much distraction.
The happy hour lessons have continued with the subject matters taught extending to another refresher on reefing, a ‘plan’ being drawn out as to where all the lines are led and to which winch they ideally go to, to yet more celestial navigation and general revision of a lot of the theoretical and some of the practical elements of sailing a big practical element being spinnaker trimming and how to get the best out of it on different points of sail, in different wind speeds and sea states!
As of the 1300UT position report on 1/12 it suggested just 2nm separated us from Starling, with the position list being auto generated based on how close to St Lucia you are. This put Starling in 30th overall and us in 31st. Starling is yet to be visible from deck or on AIS but she must be close by and today’s position report will be more eagerly anticipated than normal!
Flying Fish tally stands at 34 and although progress averaged around the mid 190nm/day we have still yet to hit that illusive 200nm/day!