Both Starling and Bluejay continue to make great progress in their ARC crossing of the Atlantic. Short blogs from each boat below. However, if you look at the weather maps, it looks like they only have 3-4 more days of wind then the trade winds just die out except for the much lower latitudes and they are going to be in quite the wind hole. In addition you can see those big low pressure systems further north sucking in air toward them. We have to hope the forecast gets kinder over the next few days! You’ll see that Starling has taken a more southerly route, while Bluejay has stayed further north. The routing software suggests north is better but we will have to see!
1 week in on Bluejay!
The past 5 days have seen the crew of Bluejay set into quite an enjoyable routine based around daylight and the spinnaker.
Weather grib received from HQ early morning with updated routing advice, that checked to see if the spinnaker is needed/wanted and since Thursday morning by 8am boat time we have had it up in the air making great progress day after day with crew members able to practice their trimming and downwind helming techniques. It’s very noticeable sailing east to west how the daylight hours shift and where we were needing to drop the kite by 1700 in anticipation of darkness on Thursday we are now able to carry it until almost 1830! Daily happy hour at 1300 each day has already seen us cover topics from sail trim, to weather patterns (and why we are able to enjoy day after day of champagne sailing at these latitudes), to reefing techniques and knots. Limited success on the fishing front with us having a line out since Wednesday morning but I’m putting that down to us averaging 7.5 knots minimum whilst trolling the line. 18 flying fish have landed on the deck since the rally started though! We are still chasing an illusive 200nm day from 1300UTC – 1300UTC, getting within 4nm on day one and not within 10 since, maybe today will be the day? Of course the race across with Starling is still on and latest position reports said only about 15nm separated us. 1700nm to St Lucia and about 400nm till halfway celebrations.
Well here we go again, deja vu, another night watch. No boats around, same sail plan, same wind speed and direction and same course. We do however have some different biscuits tonight, stem ginger. Unfortunately there are no chocolate ones on board as they would melt. We are now heading on a more or less direct course for St Lucia having gybed over Thursday lunch time and over the last few days we’ve changed up to our yankee 1 and a full main. We logged 1000nm miles today but still got about 1800 to go sounds like a long way but we’re all very much settled in to our daily watches and routines and time seems to fly by. (but maybe not on the 0010-0400 watch though). Its getting warmer and warmer, wont be long before its tee shirts at night as well. Everyone is getting a good sleep now as the winds are easing and the seas dropping. The galley is producing some great food with a bit of competition with the deserts. Today was apple crumble and custard served in a mug! Fishing has been a bit hit and miss. 3 or 4 got away however we did land 2 Dorado one large enough to feed the crew for lunch. That one took a bit of time reeling in. Every time we get one we have to back the yankke across head into wind to slow the boat. We’ve had a couple of visits from dolphins and some closer visits from the flying fish who jump on board over night. Part of the morning deck walk/check now involves hecking for flying fish before they go off. They smell badly!! Off to make tea, some things never change when sailing